Northern Rail has introduced a number of initiatives to tackle anti-social behaviour

Darlington and Stockton Times: Northern's specialist response team, which tackles anti-social behaviour, awaits the arrival of one of its trains Northern's specialist response team, which tackles anti-social behaviour, awaits the arrival of one of its trains

A TRAIN company has revealed attacks on its staff have fallen by more than a third.

There were 95 reported assaults on Northern Rail employees last year, a decrease on 2012’s figure of 154.

Northern said this was half the number of assaults reported five years ago (186).

The rail company has a specialist response team which patrols its network in order to monitor crowds and keep the peace when required.

It also installed 23 additional CCTV systems at stations it operates from last year in order to provide a deterrent to would-be criminals.

Gary Stewart, Northern’s safety and assurance director, said: “We are very encouraged by the reduction in incidents and this is due to a number of initiatives we have worked hard on over recent years.

“We have implemented a successful ‘Stay Safe’ conflict avoidance programme that trains our frontline teams on how to deal with potentially threatening situations and provides them with the tools to diffuse them calmly.

“Alongside our industry partners, the British Transport Police, we also run operations to resolve issues on specific lines of routes where alcohol related problems have been prolific.

“We want to ensure our employees and customers feel safe and we will not tolerate anti-social behaviour or excessive alcohol consumption on-board our services.”

Mr Stewart added: “Any assault on a member of our staff is completely unacceptable and every one of them has the right to feel safe while they carry out their duties.

“We expect to the see the number [of assaults] continue to decrease as we keep our focus on making the railway a safe place to work and travel.”

Last year the RMT rail union claimed parts of the rail network were becoming a “criminals paradise” and said cuts had made some staff “easy game”.

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