Scotland

ScotRail staff offered CCTV cameras to wear while on duty

ScotRaill worker with CCTV camera Image copyright PA
Image caption Footage from the cameras has already been used in some prosecutions

ScotRail staff are to be offered CCTV cameras to wear on duty in a bid to improve passenger behaviour.

The cameras can be clipped onto uniforms or worn on a cord around the neck.

They are marked with "videobadge" branding to let people know they are being filmed.

ScotRail claim an 18-month trial with 36 cameras found they reduced anti-social behaviour on trains and some footage has been used in prosecutions.

The company says workers will be "encouraged" to wear the recorders, but it is not compulsory.

Gathering evidence

Transport Scotland and trade unions ASLEF, RMT and TSSA have been involved in the initiative, with ScotRail spending £300,000 to increase the number of cameras available.

Alex Hynes, ScotRail Alliance managing director, said the safety of staff and customers was the company's priority.

He added: "Anti-social behaviour will never be tolerated at our stations, or on our trains.

"These new cameras will improve everyone's journey by deterring anti-social or criminal behaviour, and help with gathering vital evidence on the rare occasions when it does occur."

The cameras can film for eight hours and, with a simple on/off record button, do not require training to use them.

Malicious complaints

ScotRail said wearers of the device have no access to the footage recorded, which is downloaded automatically to a secure site.

The move comes after British Transport Police issued the cameras to officers earlier this year.

BTP chief inspector Sue Maxwell said: "Body-worn cameras allows officers to capture essential evidence, help protect officers from malicious complaints and can speed up the justice process.

"With ScotRail now using these cameras, we're sure this is another great step towards making Scottish railways a safer place to travel."

The TSSA union said it welcomed any moves that improved staff safety.