Preventing offences against rail staff

We're determined to provide a safe environment for all rail staff. We are working with the rail industry to reduce workplace violence.

Preventing offences against rail staff

What leads to assaults on staff? 

There is a strong link between antisocial behaviour and staff assaults. Any location showing an increase in antisocial behaviour is more likely to become the scene of an assault.

With an accurate picture of the number and type of offences taking place at a particular area, we can better protect rail staff and passengers.

The majority of offences against rail staff arise from a minor issue such as staff challenging an individual with an incorrect ticket. Alcohol is also a major factor in staff assaults with those under the influence more likely to become aggressive over delays or missing their train.

Common assault without injury is the most commonly reported offence. Serious injuries or assaults with weapons are thankfully very rare. Most assault offences are spitting or grabbing clothes, and pushing victims.

What are we doing about it?

We are working with the Rail Industry Partnership to protect all staff.

We are taking a hard-line approach against those who assault staff. We will arrest, prosecute and possibly ban from rail services anyone who uses violence against rail staff.

Together with the train operating companies, we have established the Staff Safeguarding Group in north east England. The group aims to increase the confidence of rail staff, reduce crime and disorder affecting the safety of staff, and to improve awareness of staff assault and workplace intimidation.

We have produced the “Working to prevent offences against staff” booklet, which gives advice and information to staff on how to best protect yourself and how to report an offence to us.

Advice for rail staff

Members of rail staff are not expected to engage in high-risk situations with the public, nor are they expected to detain individuals prior to the arrival of our officers.

We encourage rail staff to report every instance of physical and verbal aggression directed towards them, even if they perceive it to be “minor”.

By reporting incidents, it helps us to get a true image of what is happening to staff, and allows us to offer the best possible response.

For more information and advice, download the “Working to prevent offences against staff" booklet.