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Glasgow train staff threaten to boycott rail line plagued by 'young team' violence

By Fraser Clarke & Craig Williams

Glasgow train staff have threatened to boycott working on a railway line due to fears for their safety.

It comes after rail services between Glasgow and Balloch were plagued by incidents of unruly behaviour.

RMT regional organiser Mick Hogg issued the warning on behalf of ScotRail staff, saying it could only be a matter of time before one of them is seriously injured or killed as a result of thugs travelling on the route.

A ticket examiner said that she had been left traumatised after attempting to remove brawling thugs who boarded a service in Alexandria last week.

The staff member saw a gang of teenagers attack a younger boy with a bottle, and feared for her own safety as she tried to break up the fight when the train reached Renton.

READ MORE: Teachers at Glasgow school threaten strike over 'failure to address violent pupil behaviour'

Mick said that her experience was not an unusual one on local routes. He told the Lennox Herald: “One of our members was subjected to a terrifying incident when members of a notorious young team boarded the train at Alexandria.

“She managed to remove them from the train at Renton and then block the doors as the driver closed them, but it left her traumatised and fearing for her safety at work.

“That just gives you a flavour of what’s taking place on a regular basis. And no one is listening. If nobody listens then we’ll instruct our members not to work on the impacted routes.

“I’m sad to say that someone will be seriously injured or, god forbid, ends up losing their life. And I don’t want to have to turn round and say ‘told you so’.”

RMT regional organiser Mick Hogg issued the warning. (Lennox Herald)

Figures published earlier this year showed that the number of crimes reported at West Dunbartonshire train stations have rocketed by almost 50 percent.

Across the area 92 offences were reported to British Transport Police in the year up to November 2021, with criminal damage and fire-raising, violent or sexual offences and thefts all common.

While the number of passengers dropped dramatically during the pandemic, the number of crimes increased from 62 in November 2019 to 92.

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A British Transport Police spokesperson said: “Through partnership working with ScotRail and Police Scotland, we’re working tirelessly to deter criminality and anti-social behaviour on the railway network, and we have been increasing patrols on the Balloch line using targeted operations to deter offending.

“Where offences involving youths take place, we regularly engage with schools and campus officers to identify those responsible and deal with them accordingly. We will take action as the railway needs to be a safe place for everyone using it.”

ScotRail security and crime manager Stephen Elliot said: “The safety of our customers and employees is our number one priority. Anti-social behaviour, whether that’s physical violence, verbal abuse, or any other form, is completely unacceptable.

“Everyone has the right to go about their day in peace, so we’ll continue to work with the authorities to ensure that anyone responsible for anti-social behaviour is brought to justice.”

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Dive Deeper:
Rail staff could boycott Balloch to Glasgow line over safety fears
RMT regional organiser Mick Hogg issued the warning, as he outlined fears that it could only be a matter of…
ScotRail 'travel safe' staffer in hospital after being attacked on train
A ScotRail staff member has been hospitalised after a team formed to deter anti-social behaviour was attacked on a train.
Three ScotRail staff assaulted with one in hospital following attack on Paisley train
British Transport Police are currently investigating the incident.
Vile Nazi swastika graffiti daubed all over Scots town leaving community in disgust
The Nazi graffiti was spray-painted in various locations across Thurso in the Highlands between Monday and Tuesday this week.
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Joyriding is not fun for those left to pick up pieces in wake of moped thugs
Neds are tearing up and down streets on mopeds and motorbikes causing havoc - and the police are seemingly powerless…
What is in the Queen's Speech for the North East? All the new laws explained
The speech, delivered by Prince Charles, marks the State Opening of Parliament.
Get all your news in one place