A train company has said that on average, eight members of their staff are being assaulted a month. To combat this problem, camera badges have now been introduced for the train staff. But do train staff need a visual physical deterrent such as security guards?
Why do train staff need better security?
The Train operator Greater Anglia has reported that around eight assaults against their staff are recorded each month. Figures released by British Transport Police (BTP) also show that there were 68,313 notifiable crimes in 2018/19 compared to 60,867 in 2017/18. According to the figures, violent crime rose by more than 16% while sexual offences rose by nearly 8%. Theft of passenger property rose by more than a fifth (20%).
What is being done to combat violence against train staff?
With Members of Parliament now needing security in their own constituency surgeries, it seems that Greater Anglia are also taking the necessary steps to ensure passengers are protected as well as MP’s Greater Anglia has issued badge cams to all its conductors to deter assaults against on-board staff. The badge cams are constantly recording but do not actively store footage until activated via a flap.
Green and red lights and a camera symbol will indicate to passengers when a recording is being made.
Once activated the camera will record until stopped and automatically stores 30 seconds of footage before activation.
What has Greater Anglia said about the badge cams?
Nathan Long is a senior conductor at Greater Anglia who was recently assaulted by a passenger who threw a drink at him. Nathan Long said: “On some of the later London services that can be busy with revellers, people see it and it makes them feel safer.
“Most people, if they’re angry or they’ve had too much to drink, instantly stop as soon as they see the camera. They calm down.
“I was assaulted the other day and I had it then. The evidence goes to the police.”
Do train staff need security guards?
Greater Anglia hopes that body cams will help to reduce the number of assaults against their staff. But a highly visible deterrent such as Security Guards could also help to make railway staff feel safer and deter those looking to harm train staff.