In a bid to enhance safety and curb anti-social behaviour on Scotland's Railway, ScotRail is set to triple the number of body-worn cameras with the introduction of more than 1,000 new units by the end of this month.
This initiative represents a substantial upgrade from their existing suite of 350 body cameras, significantly expanding the number of units available to frontline staff.
ScotRail first introduced body-worn cameras in 2017, and their use has been vital in providing crucial evidence for various incidents, including assaults on staff.
Due to the evidence captured by these devices, successful prosecutions have been possible.
This development is part of a dedicated £1.6 million investment by the train operator as previously reported by RailAdvent, to address anti-social behaviour issues within their network.
ScotRail initially introduced body-worn cameras in 2017 following a successful trial period. During this trial, the train operator observed a positive change in customer behaviour when passengers were informed that they were being recorded.
Alongside introducing the new body cameras, ScotRail is implementing other strategic measures to enhance railway safety. This includes increasing the number of frontline staff, particularly during late-night services on key routes.
Furthermore, ScotRail recently expanded its Travel Safe Team, which works closely with the British Transport Police (BTP) to foster a secure railway environment both on trains and at stations.
The Travel Safe Team, originally introduced in October 2021 and further expanded in autumn 2022, is a responsive resource that can address emerging issues promptly. The team actively engages with individuals and groups, educating them about the consequences of unsafe behaviours within the railway environment.
Since its inception, ScotRail has noted a decline in reported incidents during and after anti-social behaviour exercises. Collectively, these initiatives underline ScotRail's commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of passengers and staff while traveling on Scotland's railway network.
David Lister, ScotRail Safety, Engineering and Sustainability Director, said: “ScotRail is committed to tackling anti-social behaviour on Scotland's Railway. “Body worn cameras play an important role in deterring criminal behaviour and supporting potential prosecutions. By increasing the number of units available to our people, it means that anyone who wants to use a body camera has the option to do so.
“Safety is our top priority, and together with our Travel Safe Team, these cameras play a crucial role in ensuring a secure work environment for our customers and colleagues.”
Jim Gray, RMT ScotRail Co-Ordinator, said: “The RMT union fully supports the use of body worn cameras to tackle anti-social behaviour.
“It's great to see ScotRail increasing the number of units available for frontline staff to more than 1,000, meaning a camera is available for anyone who wants one.”