Our Ref: HSR/2/2
Head Office Circular: NP/219/19
24th October 2019
To: The Secretary
VIOLENCE AGAINST RAILWAY STAFF
South Wales and West of England Regional Council submitted the following resolution:
This regional council is dismayed to discover that any person who is convicted in a court of law of an assault on any member of railway staff does not automatically face some sort of ban from using the railway network.
Last October one of our guards was subjected to a vicious unprovoked attack in which two males stomped on, kicked and punched him in the head while he was on the floor after they tried to push him down between the train and the platform. The attack left the guard in question not only suffering the physical injuries but far worse was the mental injury which left him contemplating a lot more than whether he could return to his role. Thankfully counselling was quickly put in place and combined with the support of colleagues and dedicated determination of a BTP officer to bring the pair to justice the guard was finally able to return to work at the end of March after the two were convicted of GBH. Disappointingly the sentence handed down was a period of community service along with a £500 fine each plus costs.
Whilst in his first month back at work the guard encountered one of the males who boarded his train at the same station in which the attack took place. After enquiring with both BTP and Transport for Wales it became clear that there was no automatic ban for the perpetrators of an assault both parties blamed each other for not taking it further and pushing for a ban.
This regional council is asking that the council of executives instruct the general secretary to take legal advice on this matter and then approach every TOC, the RMT parliamentary group in Westminster, the Welsh and Scottish Assembly Groups to jointly relaunch the campaign of zero tolerance against violence to railway staff. Furthermore, to make sure that a automatic period/life ban forms part of the sentence of anyone convicted in a court of law of assault on any member of staff no matter what grade.
The resolution was considered by the NEC at their meeting of 22nd October 2019 where they noted and adopted the following report of their Health and Safety Sub-committee:
We note the legal opinion on file and the proposed course of action outlined in the opinion. General Secretary is instructed to take this matter up in line with the proposal.
I am acting in accordance with these instructions. Please make the contents of this circular available to all appropriate members.