Transport for Wales (TfW) has provided stations staff and train conductors with body cameras to improve safety and security.
Following a successful trial last year, more than 250 Axon Body 2 cameras are being rolled out across 15 key locations around the network, including Cardiff, Chester, Swansea and Pontypridd. Staff will have four different models of camera to choose from.
During last year’s trial, the cameras proved pivotal as evidence against people carrying out offences on the railway, including in trespass offences. TfW staff are now starting their training with the cameras and they will be coming into service over the coming weeks and months.
Transport for Wales’ continuous improvement manager Chris Watkins said: “While the railway is already a very safe environment to travel in, we want to give our customers and colleagues that added piece of mind that their safety comes first. Axon cameras will also add transparency to ensure any incident claims can be quickly and accurately verified.
“Body cameras are proven to be incredibly effective in lowering crime rates, both because they are a deterrent and because the evidence they help us gather is so good that it is often key in helping the police secure successful convictions.
“We chose a supplier after working closely with our front-line colleagues to find the right product and this investment will really help us to work closer with our British Transport Police partners to build a safer railway for everyone.”
The HD cameras supplied by Axon Enterprise are used by major law enforcement agencies, transport operators and public sector organisations around the world.
All data captured is stored and handled securely with British Transport Police, in line with GDPR regulations.
British Transport Police Superintendent Andy Morgan said: “The safety of passengers and our rail industry colleagues is our absolute priority and we do everything we can to protect them.
“We fully support the introduction of body worn cameras for Transport for Wales’ frontline staff – we know from experience that body worn video is a fantastic piece of kit that helps us in securing convictions against those who target staff with unnecessary violence or abuse.
“We hope the introduction will deter anti-social behaviour and provide reassurance to rail staff as well as passengers.”