Higher priority needed to tackle attacks on transport staf

27 August 2008

Cathy Jamieson today gave her backing to greater legal protection for rail and bus staff and called for an extension of the current Emergency Workers legislation and more British Transport Police (BTP) in Scotland.


She said that according to BTP statistics only 50 per cent of attacks on staff are detected and more action is needed to ensure that offenders are caught and then dealt with by the courts.


Ms Jamieson said:


"Many Scots rely on trains and buses. We've seen too many examples of transport staff being assaulted while trying to serve the public. Rail staff can often be in a dangerous situation where they are enclosed with the aggressor until the next station. In the case of buses it often results in services being withdrawn and communities left isolated.


"I would like to see the Emergency Workers legislation extended to rail and bus staff and more support given to the BTP to increase their detection of criminals who attack transport workers and members of the public.


"As well as brutal assaults we have seen spitting and verbal abuse. Often the assault can be followed by months of worry about health. If Scotland wants decent public transport services then we have give our transport workers greater protection. That's why I'm proposing that the Emergency Workers legislation should be extended to rail and bus staff.


ASLEF is backing Cathy Jamieson's call to amend the emergency service workers legislation to include transport workers.


Kevin Lindsay ASLEF's Regional Organiser called on all political parties to support Cathy's vision for a safer Scotland by backing the legislative amendment. He said:


"This move is vital to stop transport workers suffering verbal or physical assaults. This move would also ensure that the transport network was safer for the people of Scotland."

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