A binman was punched in the head during his round in Letchworth last week.

Police are investigating the attack, which also led to the man hitting his head and being taken to hospital. He is now recovering at home.

The binman, working for Urbaser - which carries out bin collections for North Herts Council - was attacked by a resident in Monklands around 1pm on Thursday, May 4.

The incident began after the binman found a contaminated bin.

His assailant had also thrown his own bags of rubbish into the back of the recycling vehicle, despite being told that it would contaminate the entire load.

In another incident on the same day, a member of the council’s customer service team was verbally abused on the phone. 

Cllr Elizabeth Dennis-Harburg, Leader of North Herts Council, said: "Unfortunately some of the staff and contractors in our shared waste service were victims of physical and verbal abuse last week. This is not acceptable.

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"All our staff and contractors play a vital role in delivering our services and I’m proud of the work they do.

"They deserve to be treated with the same kindness and respect that anyone else should when they’re at work. They should not have to deal with the physical and emotional cost that abuse brings with it.

“We’re asking everyone to remember that our employees, contractors and councillors are people too, and where we see abuse and other unacceptable behaviour taking place, we will take action. Thank you for your support."

A spokesperson for North Herts Council said: "We are proud of the diligence of our contractors in trying to manage contamination in our recycling collections, which can result in a whole load being rejected and sent to landfill, a waste of everyone’s time and money."

After the incident, the binmen suspended their round and the remaining bins were collected the following day.

North Herts Council are sharing CCTV with the police to help their investigation.

Witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact police.

Information can be reported online at herts.police.uk/report, via online web chat at herts.police.uk/contact, or by calling the non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference 41/35866/23.

Anonymous information can be given by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.