More than 100 British transport police attacked in Scotland over past two years
New research from the Liberal Democrats has revealed there were 146 crimes against the officers in Scotland since October 2018, and 22 crimes between March and September this year.
A Freedom of Information request revealed the attacks on key workers had happened all too often during the coronavirus crisis, something the Lib Dems have now branded “disgusting”.
Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said: “I think everyone will be appalled to learn that during the pandemic British Transport Police staff have been the victims of violent attacks on our railways.
“Even in lockdown, when the number of people travelling massively reduced, these figures show a persistent threat to those working to keep things moving.
“This kind of behaviour is atrocious at the best of times, but violently attacking key workers who are risking their lives on the frontline of this pandemic to keep the country moving is despicable.”
Mr McArthur urged the Scottish Government to offer more protection for railway staff and warned things could even get worse during the festive period.
He said: “This is all the more concerning given the lack of planning that appears to have gone into organising extra capacity for Christmas travel.
“The pressure within that five-day window could be immense and the Scottish Government have offered no reassurance that travel providers like railway staff will be offered the support they need to handle that.
“Everyone deserves to be safe in their workplace.
“We’ve seen with the tragic case of Belly Mujinga, who tragically died from coronavirus after being spat at at work, just how devastating these callous actions can be.”
The railway worker, who had an 11-year-old daughter, was at Victoria station in London on March 22 when a member of the public spat and coughed at her and a colleague.
The attacker claimed they had coronavirus, and both women fell ill within days of the attack.
Ms Mujinga tragically died in hospital in Barnet on April 5.
Police interviewed a 57-year-old man who claimed he had coughed, but not on purpose.
After an investigation lasting 19 days, the police concluded there was insufficient evidence to charge anyone.
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