Railway safety and crime

09.10.19

Virgin Trains to increase number of body cameras worn by staff

Virgin Trains, the first UK train operator to equip all frontline teams with body worn cameras, are rolling out 250 more across the network.

Station staff and on-board teams have another layer of protection with body worn cameras issued to a further 250 staff, bringing the total number of people with cameras to over 500.

The scheme was introduced in September of last year, and the result of 275 staff members wearing them was a 47% reduction in assaults.

Initial piloting saw survey results reveal that more than 80% of staff felt safer at work while wearing bodycams and nearly 90% would recommend them to colleagues.

Further analysis, carried out between April and September 2019, has recorded a 30% drop in physical assaults on Virgin employees compared to the same period in 2018.

Dave Whitehouse, safety director at Virgin Trains, said:

“The safety of our staff and customers is paramount, and body worn cameras play an important role in helping us to keep our network safe.

“The feedback is that our staff feel more confident and reassured wearing the equipment while working on the network. It’s only natural that more of our people should have access to using it.”

They are also the first rail network to grant direct access of footage to the British Transport Police (BTP), to aid any investigations taking place.

By using a cloud-based system, the BTP can view the footage when the cameras are docked and speed up potential prosecutions – making the railways a safer place to be.

Sergeant Lakhveer Singh, of British Transport Police, said:

“Virgin Trains announcement of more body worn cameras for their staff has the full support of British Transport Police. We know from experience that body worn video is a fantastic piece of kit, that helps us in securing convictions against those who target staff with unnecessary violence or abuse.”

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