Our Ref: HSR/2/2
Head Office Circular: NP/56/20
13th March 2020
To: The Secretary
ALL REGIONAL COUNCILS
CRIME AND ASSAULT ON THE PORTSMOUTH TO GUILDFORD LINE, SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY (SWR)
I have received reports from RMT’s Guard Representatives on SWR that, despite meetings taking place between our Representatives, the company and British Transport Police, anti-social behaviour on the line has not improved and has resulted in a serious incident on 27th February 2020 in which it was initially reported that a member of the public was stabbed; it was subsequently confirmed by the police that a gang member had cut his hand whilst in the process of breaking into a car.
RMT has requested an urgent meeting with SWR, the local police and British Transport police, to discuss the continued anti-social behaviour and this meeting has been set up for 25th March.
I have been informed that two of the main gang members were in court on Friday 6th March and were issued with minor sentences.
The Guards are asking if Body Worn Videos can be worn; this has been placed on the agenda of the Guards’ Company Council to be discussed.
At its meeting on 12th March, the National Executive Committee resolved as follows:
That we note the reports and correspondence on file. We further note the diabolical inactions of the police to deal with the increased anti-social behaviour that is putting our members and the pubic at risk of serious danger.
We must stress that the Union is legally limited to the advice and action we can give to our members as a collective, but must stress that individuals must use the laws in place to protect themselves in the workplace when placed in a position of “serious and imminent danger”.
More needs to be done to hold to account the authorities who are in a position to protect the local communities and businesses that work and live in the area.
Accordingly, we instruct the General Secretary to:
• Issue without delay suitable advice to our members on SWR via all means possible
• To write to the Guildford and Portsmouth local authorities making them aware of the seriousness of the issues and seek every assistance to addressing the issues
• To obtain a response from our Parliamentary group
• Issue a press release
Wessex Regional Council, Branches and members to be advised.
I am acting in accordance with these instructions and will keep you informed of developments. Please make the contents of this Circular available to all appropriate members.