A machete-wielding man attacked a member of staff at a Birmingham job centre yesterday in front of staff and customers.
The assault happened at about 1pm at Washwood Heath Job Centre on Washwood Heath Road, Ward End.
The attacker struck his 25-year-old victim with a machete causing a wound to his head. The injured man was taken to Heartlands Hospital. His injuries were not thought to be life-threatening. The attacker, described as Asian and wearing a cream knitted hat, fled the scene.
A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions said members of staff who had witnessed the attack were being offered counselling.
"A male member of staff was attacked in the office at lunch-time and received a machete wound to the head," he said.
"We are giving every support possible, such as counselling, to staff who were obviously traumatised by the incident.
"Our immediate concern is for the member of staff in hospital and we are in touch with his family."
A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said: "A 25-year-old man was attacked with a short bladed weapon and he suffered head injuries."
The DWP spokesman added that CCTV cameras and security guards were employed by Jobcentre Plus to make job centres as safe as possible for staff and clients.
"The safety of both our staff and customers is our paramount concern," he said. "The key to safety in Jobcentre Plus is that we actively manage the environment - we carried out full risk assessments and implemented their recommendations including installing CCTV and employing security guards who work with Jobcentre Plus management to reduce tension and potential frustration in our offices.
"All staff that work with customers attend a handling difficult customers course."