Officers will be patrolling at major transport hubs across tier 4 regions to remind passengers of the Government’s advice under the updated Tier system, with those in Tier 4 advised to stay at home and only use public transport for essential journeys.
David Marshall, BTP Superintendent and Head of Operations in Scotland, said: “We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour on the network and we will be increasing our visibility patrols to ensure the railway remains a safe place to travel. We are also reminding the public to be respectful to rail staff who have worked throughout the pandemic.
“Additional officers will patrol the rail network, supporting rail staff and engaging with passengers about the importance of maintaining social distancing and reminding those who are travelling to wear face coverings. We hope the public will continue to act responsibly and play their part in helping to protect themselves, and each other, by following the guidance and restrictions set out by the Scottish Government, as well as complying with the requirement to wear face coverings.”
Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity said: “Abusing any frontline staff, especially those keeping services moving for other key workers, is unacceptable at any time never mind at the present while we continue to tackle the ongoing impacts on the pandemic. I have no hesitation in supporting BTP and the rail industry in their efforts to convey this message and reduce incidents.
“Everyone working on or using public transport has an absolute right to go about their business without fear of verbal or physical assault. ”
Assistant Chief Constable, Sean O’Callaghan, said: “Our policing method remains the same – officers will engage with passengers and only use enforcement if absolutely necessary."
Mike Hogg, regional organiser for the RMT in Scotland said: “We welcome the presence of more officers as we have faced increasing anti-social behaviour, despite less people using trains just now. More officers will reassure staff and passengers who do need to travel.”