[Excerpt from publisher]The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has been concerned about the level of risks to nurses. It has been working in a number of ways to raise awareness of the problem and to contribute towards the development of solutions to reduce the incidence of violence, as well as ensure those who are subjected to violence receive the support they need. The RCN believes that those who assault nurses should face criminal sanctions where appropriate, but highlights the fact that there are relatively few prosecutions in relation to the number of incidents. In 2006, the RCN published a survey looking at all aspects of nurses' working environment, including assaults from patients and the public. Four in 10 respondents reported that they had been harassed or assaulted by patients or relatives in the previous 12 months - an increase on an earlier report in 2000. Of these, 25 per cent were reported by nurses working in the community. Interventions to reduce levels of violence and aggression are frequently focussed on the acute sector and emergency departments in particular. However, working in the community means that nurses face all the risks of lone working, resulting in exposure to violence and aggression.