Unions condemn plans to give rail staff ‘policing’ powers

Government
proposals to give rail staff powers to issue fixed-penalty notices for a
variety of offences have been condemned as ‘policing on the cheap’.

The
proposals, announced in a consultation paper from the Department for Transport,
would give staff powers to issue fines for offences such as dropping litter,
trespass on railway lines or allowing a dog to foul a platform.

However,
unions say this will lead to an even greater number of assaults on workers.

Last
year, there was a 34 per cent increase in the number of attacks on rail staff.

RMT
general secretary Bob Crow said it seemed the Government had recognised the
need for more policing on the railways, but placing the burden onto already
overstretched railway staff was not the answer.

"There
are far too many assaults on our members already without putting them in
situations where they are likely to experience even more," he said.

By Michael Millar

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