Train operator, Northern, has begun the process of training its 7,000-strong workforce in how to spot vulnerable people on the railway – AND have the confidence to intervene.
Northern’s conductors, customer service and station staff interact with tens of millions of passengers a year – among which will be people subject to abuse, addiction and intimidation.
Having the confidence to act when they spot something ‘not quite right’ requires the right skills and a knowledge of the best ‘next steps’ to help the person in need.
The training is provided by the charity ‘Railway Children’, whose work focusses on identifying individuals at risk and helping with early forms of intervention.
Tricia Williams, chief operating officer at Northern said: “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do – and being able to spot those in need, whether they approach our teams for help or not, is really important.”
Commenting on the roll-out of training by Northern, Acting Superintendent Dave Rams, head of crime and public protection at BTP, said: “We welcome this positive action by Northern.
“Rail staff are the eyes and ears of the rail network and if they report their concerns, they will help us protect people.”
In 2020, British Transport Police intervened in 25,997 cases involving vulnerable people. This included county lines activity, mental health crisis, domestic abuse, and child sexual exploitation.
You can contact British Transport Police via text message on 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40.
Northern is the second largest train operator in the UK, with nearly 2,000 services a day to more than 500 stations across the North of England.
Photo credit: Northern