TOC, police sign plan

by Mark Rowe

The train operator Southeastern, Network Rail and the British Transport Police have signed up to a joint plan, the first of its kind. They say they’re pooling resources to tackle a rising number of assaults on staff as well as trespass incidents which can cause delays to trains.

The train operating company (TOC) has equipped its staff with body worn cameras which provides BTP and Southeastern with evidence to prosecute offenders. Southeastern says it’s committed to reducing anti-social behaviour on the network and has brought in extra security trained staff, besides its Railway Enforcement Officers, to specific hotspots. The TOC says it has reduced ticketless travel from nearly seven per cent to under three per cent.

The agreement was signed by the three sponsors: Southeastern’s Managing Director Steve White, Network Rail’s Route Director for Kent, David Davidson and BTP Chief Superintendent Chris Casey.

Steve White, MD, Southeastern Railway said: “I’m incredibly proud to be the first train operator in the country to have our commitment to safety and security formalised in this agreement, as part of our drive for a better, more reliable and sustainable railway. While the vast majority of our customers can and do use our railway safely, there’s a small but growing minority who don’t, and we won’t tolerate any abuse on our network towards our people or our passengers.

“We’ve already got a very positive and close working relationship with Network Rail and the British Transport Police, but this agreement enables us to work more effectively as one team.”

The agreement sets out eight workstreams:

Workplace Violence (WPV): a joint strategy to reduce the likelihood of WPV incidents whilst safeguarding and supporting every colleague who is a victim or witness.
Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB): Work to positively influence feelings of confidence of passengers and colleagues across the network.
Trespass: All trespass carries a risk to life. Work will reduce incidents of trespass and investigate such offences where the evidence is available and deliver the trespass reduction plan.
Graffiti: Reduce graffiti on trains and infrastructure and minimise the risk of harm to those undertaking such activity.
Safeguarding: Enter a commitment to deliver against a joint strategy which will provide an overarching framework on safeguarding commitments and attain Safeguarding on Rail accreditation. The aim is to attain Safeguarding on Rail accreditation.
Suicide reduction: Work together to reduce the number of people who end their lives on the railway according to a joint suicide reduction strategy.
Counter terrorism and critical/major incident preparedness: sharing information and intelligence to reduce the likelihood of a hostile action and provide a timely and proportionate response to any incident that impacts the network. Planned are increased multi-agency tabletops and exercises.
Collaborative resource optimisation: Work together to establish resources and maximise effectiveness, towards a joint tasking data product.

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