Rail staff safety was the focus of a two-week operation by British Transport Police over the Halloween – Guy Fawkes Night extravaganza.
Operation Maine saw a concerted BTP attempt to combat verbal and physical assaults on rail staff encountered during this eventful period. The fortnight long initiative started on 28th October and ran for two weeks.
Says Superintendent Phil Wilkinson, ‘We know that this is an exciting time for the travelling public with Halloween- themed parties and firework displays happening all over the country, and we aren’t trying to spoil the fun. What we are doing is reminding passengers to respect the rail staff who help you get to your parties and displays, safely.
‘Train guards, conductors, revenue staff, station staff and even drivers, who are on the front line, are faced with abuse every day, simply for carrying out their role in keeping the railway running. In previous years, we have seen incidents where fireworks have been set off in stations, thrown at trains and conductors, causing injuries.
‘We do not want to see a repeat of this, which is why officers will be out in force over this two week period reassuring staff and passengers and deterring this type of mindless criminality.’
Easy availability of fireworks, darker evenings, and cheap alcohol are all thought to contribute. Others believe darker forces are to blame. However the BTP remains resolute. ‘BTP takes hard-line approach against those who assault staff, and, working closely with the rail industry partnership, we’re determined to provide a safe working environment for all,’ adds Superintendent Wilkinson.