'Charm schooling' for Tube staff cuts assaults
Wednesday 10 August 1994
For the year April 1993 to March 1994, serious assaults fell by 16 per cent from 143 to 120, according to a report by Income Data Services (IDS).
London Underground said the trend was due to better training and selection procedures which reduce staff's aggressive behaviour.
All front-line staff are trained in defusing aggression and courses on handling violence are available for specific jobs. Revenue control inspectors, most at risk because they have to collect pounds 10 penalty fares introduced in April, go on a two-day conflict management course to learn body language and non-verbal communication skills.
'We teach people how to diffuse an aggressive situation without becoming aggressive yourself,' said Paul Kirwin, who organises the courses.
'We teach them to talk in a calm manner, to listen to what is being said. That tends to diffuse an explosive situation. You need to be aware all the time. You can tell by a person's body movements what is going to happen next.'
According to the IDS report, a quarter of the revenue control inspectors were attacked in 1993. Others most at risk were station supervisors, 8.8 per cent of whom were attacked, and station assistants - 7.5 per cent attacked.
Over the same period, violent assaults on passengers fell from 1,115 in 1992 to 1,007 in 1993-94. Indecent assaults dropped from 262 incidents in 1992 to 253 in 1993-94. (An accounting period change makes a direct comparison difficult.)
Staff on the District and Central lines suffered more attacks.
The report praises London Underground's recruitment and training methods to weed out applicants with aggressive attitudes. Staff are also warned against being heroes and advised to back away if there is any risk of violence.
There are plans to train staff in 'tea and sympathy skills to deal with assaulted passengers before police arrive.
Despite fears that penalty fares would lead to more attacks, there has only been one reported assault.
Life & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
Winter crisis in A&E: Hospitals declare 'black alerts' as admissions shatter records, but full stats still unpublished
Unpaid make-up artists reveal the ugly side of Miss World
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg
Google launches 'Contributor' payment service for ad-free internet browsing
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track
- 1 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 2 Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
- 3 Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...
£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...