South Western Railway (SWR) has launched a new safety initiative which will see a rollout of body-worn cameras amongst station and rolling stock staff across most of its network.
The implementation of these cameras will hopefully deter and reduce antisocial behaviour on trains and stations towards staff and passengers alike. This new safety standard comes at a time where, in recent weeks, the number of assaults and indecent incidents across the UK rail network has risen, leading to new safety protocols becoming of paramount importance.
An initial trial of the camera deterrent system saw staff working out of the Fratton depot don the new gear in June 2021, seeing effective results that led to the rollout of this new standard across the SWR network. These cameras are now being integrated into operations at Bournemouth, Richmond, Weymouth, Farnham, Woking, Eastleigh, Portsmouth, and Guildford, and will soon include SWR staff working out of Salisbury and Basingstoke.
The staff that will be required to wear these cameras will be guards, customer service assistants, rail community officers and revenue protection staff. This means that staff working in a customer facing capacity will now be able to document their daily experiences with the public. The new body-cam technology, accompanied with existing station CCTV cameras will allow the operators and station management to provide better evidence for prosecutions and cases in court.
Christian Neill, SWR’s Customer Experience Director, commented:
“Customer and colleague safety will always be our top priority. We are always looking for ways to help our customers travel with greater confidence and ensure that colleagues feel safer at work.
“These body-worn cameras are designed to do just this, by deterring anti-social behaviour on our services and reducing the number of assaults our colleagues experience at work.
“While we wish that we could prevent every incident, we expect that the new footage will help authorities in any prosecutions by providing good quality evidence.”
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