Operator takes a stand against verbal and physical abuse towards staff and customers
Stagecoach South East (SE) has launched a zero tolerance campaign against hate crime and will seek to prosecute anyone who behaves in an unacceptable manner, particularly to drivers out on the road.
Joel Mitchell, Stagecoach SE Managing Director (pictured) says: “We’re hearing more and more stories from our drivers about the abuse they receive when they’re simply doing their job. Nobody should have to go to work worrying about whether they’ll get hurt, sworn at or spat on. These incidents are just not acceptable, so we’ve decided to take action.”
All staff now have access to counselling, and managers and support staff can join an interactive mental wellbeing and resilience course if they so wish.
Drivers are also being issued with spit kits – mini DNA recovery kits which feature gloves, swabs and a sealed bag – which allow staff to take saliva samples before sending them for forensic analysis.
One recent incident at Canterbury bus station left a driver with a fractured cheekbone. He needed nine stiches after a member of the public punched him so hard that his teeth cut into his cheek.
Other recent incidents have included passengers kicking the doors, shouting and swearing, challenges to fight, as well as threats to rob and stab a driver.
This concern over violence on public transport comes after news that a National Express coach driver was assaulted at Bristol bus station.