Transport Chiefs Launch Campaign Against Attacks On Workers

2 December 2016, 05:29

Almost 200 offences have been committed against public transport workers in the last two years, according to travel chiefs, and around three-quarters of the incidents involved a physical assault.

Although such crimes are said to be on the decline, transport bosses, unions and the Scottish Government have called on passengers to help further cut the abuse of transport workers over the festive season.

Chief Superintendent John McBride, of British Transport Police, said: ''Violence against staff, be that physical or verbal, is never acceptable and we are committed to driving this offence down across Scotland.

''In the past year, we have seen a drop in the number of assaults, but we are by no means complacent and will continue working tirelessly to make the transport network a safe place to travel and work.''

Transport chiefs said staff work hard to get Christmas revellers home safely - but they warned workers often face being the target of unwarranted and unacceptable abuse.

The festive transport campaign hopes to tackle abuse against road, rail and sea workers.

Ross Moran, general manager for operations at Caledonian MacBrayne ferries, said: ''Thankfully instances of physical and verbal abuse towards staff on our vessels or in ports are rare.

''But they do happen and can be not only frightening and very intimidating for the staff member in question, but also our customers. There is never an excuse and we are pleased to support this campaign to raise awareness.''

Unions are also involved in the campaign to cut abuse.

Kevin Lindsay, Scottish organiser at train drivers' union Aslef, said: ''We want everyone to have an enjoyable festive period but remind passengers to respect all transport workers as they work hard to get everyone home safely.''

David Lister, ScotRail sustainability and safety assurance director, said: ''Whilst the majority of our customers will be enjoying some well-earned time off with friends and family, our teams will still be hard at work to help our customers get to and from the shops or nights out.''

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf urged the public to support the joint campaign, which he said highlights the unacceptable nature of violence against transport workers.

He added: ''Every worker has the absolute right to carry out their duties without the fear of verbal or physical assault.

''My plea is to ask the public to give their support too, by not only refraining from this type of wholly unnecessary behaviour, but also by actively helping to stamp it out where it does occur.''