Network Rail collaborate to highlight shocking abuse towards UK customer facing staff

Network Rail collaborate to highlight shocking abuse towards staff

Network Rail and Co-op have joined forces with Channel 4 and Nationwide Building Society to highlight the abuse and violence carried out against customer facing staff in the UK in a primetime, poignant Channel 4 ad-break takeover.

The #TogetherAgainstHate campaign features recordings and CCTV footage of both physical and verbal abuse experienced by each companies’ employees and delivers the vital message that violence and threatening behaviour is completely unacceptable. Through there is only a small minority of the public that partake in this sort of behaviour, it should still not be tolerated in any circumstance.

The ad break will air during Googlebox on this evening (16th Oct) and displays some of the 400 abuse incidents that UK customer facing staff experience every single day.

Throughout the break an employee from each brand reflects on why they love working with the general public. Although, this is starkly overlaid with recordings of severe verbal abuse aimed at Nationwide Building Society’s call centre staff as well as newspaper headlines talking about the scale of physical and verbal abuse experienced by Co-op’s retail employees is show in the add.

Network Rail’s features genuine examples of physical abuse suffered by station staff as recorded in the company’s incident log, along with CCTV footage, signifying attention to the impact this has on the real people simply carrying out their jobs.

In between each brand’s ad, statistics demonstrate to viewers the startling extent of this issue before they are encouraged to, ‘work together to build a more tolerant and mutually respectful society for everyone’.

The campaign builds on 2018’s multi award-winning #TogetherAgainstHate collaboration between Nationwide Building Society and Channel 4. This took a stand against online abuse and encouraged views to consider the impact of contentious and hateful comments online.

Norrie Courts, Director of Stations at Network Rail, said: “Customer-facing station staff play a crucial role in helping our passengers travel safely and reliably by rail. There have been fewer passengers since March with many people working from home, but our station staff, whether working on a gate line, undertaking extra cleaning, offering travel advice or passenger mobility assistance, have continued to turn up for work throughout the pandemic to ensure key workers and others relying on rail can travel and use stations safely.

“The last thing these hard-working and dedicated staff should face is violence and abuse, yet it happens all too often. We urge all passengers and station users to treat rail staff with respect and consider the impact their harmful words or actions could have on the mental and physical health of others.”

Matt Salmon, Sales Director, Channel 4 said: “Partnering with the Together Against Hate campaign is an opportunity for Channel 4 to do what we do best - using the power of TV to encourage debate and inspire positive societal change.

“Customer facing staff up and down the country are vital in helping us all, day-in, day-out and abuse of any kind should never be tolerated.”

Sara Bennison, Chief Product and Marketing Officer, Nationwide Building Society said: “In 2018 we could no longer be bystanders watching the growing online hate directed towards the real people in our TV adverts – we took a stand against the abuse then and we’re taking a stand again today.”

Jo Whitfield, CEO, Co-op Food, said: “Violence and abuse against shop workers have reached intolerable levels and we are pleased to be taking a stand alongside our colleagues in the travel and financial services sectors to say enough is enough, as we urgently need a reset in society to help protect people who are simply going to work.”

Image: Network Rail 

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