Attacks on TfL staff up 10% in a year as workers face daily risk of violence

ITV London's Kaf Okpattah joins TfL enforcement officers, who face a risk of verbal abuse and physical violence every time they go to work

Figures obtained by ITV London reveal assaults on Transport for London (TfL) staff have risen by 10% year on year.

Between January 2022 and June 2023, there were 638 instances of physical abuse against bus drivers.

The number was higher for London Underground staff, who endured 852 attacks during the same period.

As ITV London joined enforcement officers looking for fare dodgers at Stratford Station, one insisted that he "really needed" the thick protective vest he was wearing.

He told of a recent incident at Turnpike Lane station where staff supporting revenue inspectors were confronted by a "very aggressive male" with a firearm.

As a commuter the risk to life faced by TfL workers is rarely thought of, but for the frontline staff it’s something that weighs heavily on their minds.

“It’s never 100% safety, always when we go on deployment, we have to consider the risk assessment," one member of staff said.

Asked if he ever gets scared on the job, another said: “There’s always that feeling, but the thing is you always have the support of your colleagues, so it’s something you learn to deal with on a daily basis.”

ITV London also found that not every case of abuse goes up to British Transport Police. For example, TfL said something like a "push or a shove" would not meet the threshold for reporting.

The transport body said extra CCTV and more body-worn cameras were being rolled out to make staff feel safer and to act as a deterrent - but still attacks are on the rise.

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