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British Transport Police officers used evidence from body worn video worn by two members of railway staff to bring an aggressive passenger to court.
The offender had been verbally abusive to the staff members, invading their personal space and at one point pressing his forehead against one of the victims.
The staff members had asked him to stop obstructing a stairwell at Leicester Square station in London.
The result is an example of the power of body worn video – it gives officers immediate evidence of any offences committed against staff on the railway.
Inspector Mullah Hoque said: “Body worn video is a potent and effective tool, initially used by police officers and now increasingly used by the rail industry.
“It gives immediate, often indisputable evidence of the incident and serves as a powerful deterrent to those who intend on abusing railway staff.
“The latter point is very important. As we’ve found, possible offenders often change their behaviour when they’re aware their actions could be caught on close-up camera.
“It’s a point we’d like to spread far and wide. Any aggressive actions against staff members can, and likely will be caught on camera as this technology spreads throughout the railway.”
John Lamport, 33, of no fixed address, was sentenced at Westminster Magistrates Court on Tuesday 2 February.
He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a community order and £225 in fines. The offence itself occurred on November 2019 but the case was delayed due to adjournments and Lamport avoiding court.
The case was investigated by the BTP London Underground staff assault unit, led by Sergeant Paul Threadgold. A team dedicated to dealing with offences against Transport for London staff.
The team works alongside TfL to ensure rail staff are supported, and cases are thoroughly investigated – officers have ready access to CCTV throughout the London Underground, have access to staff body worn video and regularly use Oyster Card enquiries to identify suspects.
They also regularly provide sessions to staff members, giving staff an opportunity to raise issues or concerns.