PPSS Group’s Aim Is To Protect Public Transport Professionals
Written by: Robert Kaiser
It is estimated that the UK rail network alone carries in excess of 750 million passengers each year. If only a small percentage of these rail users travel without paying the appropriate fare the loss of revenue is considerable.
According to some of the UK’s leading public transport firms, it is estimated that fare evasion costs the UK rail industry over £200 million a year.
Public Transport companies therefore employ Revenue Protection Inspectors, Ticket Inspectors or Fare Inspectors to patrol different forms of public transport (e.g. trains or buses) issuing penalty fares to passengers who travel without a valid ticket or without the correct ticket.
Robert Kaiser, CEO of PPSS Group, strongly believes that lightweight body armour, which also offer sufficient levels of protection from blunt force trauma and hypodermic needles, will reduce the risk of physical injury when suffering from any type of assault by one of those individuals that have decided not to pay for their fare or those who are of aggressive nature.
He said: “Of course, not everyone without a fare is a nasty and brutal individual, out there to seriously harm the first revenue protection officers they come across. Some passengers may well have forgotten to pay for the fare; they may just have had too many things on their mind. This is of course all possible”.
“However, it is equally possible that a particular passenger without a ticket simply never pays for his fare, that person may well be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. That person may suffer from mental illnesses or have a serious violent history, which means he or she will certainly not stop from harming you in order to avoid identification or even arrest.”
“Regardless of the fact that a train journey is crossing the most beautiful stretch of a certain country and regardless of the fact that a bus journey might take place on a nice lovely sunny Sunday morning, the matter of fact is that we simply cannot know who will be on that train or bus, and what the passenger’s history is.”
“What have they been through over the past 24 hours? What is the purpose of their journey? Who will be under the influence of drugs or alcohol? The answer is we just don’t know.”
During bus journeys robberies drivers have been threatened with knives, hypodermic needles, air guns and even samurai swords.
During train journeys innocent passengers have been threatened and subjected to violence and racial abuse, often resulting in public transport professionals getting involved.
Recently a firework was thrown on to a bus. The driver managed to get out of the cabin in time but the force of the explosion damaged the cabin, shattering both front windscreens and damaging the assault screen.
Several additional incidents have been recorded where youths urinated in the bus or train.
We will know certain locations are particularly at risk from vandals and anti-social behaviour.
Criminals, drunk passengers and drug users are all representing a realistic risk to frontline staff, and Robert Kaiser believes that body armour would improve their chances of remaining unharmed and coming home safety at the end of the working day.
In many cases, successful conflict management or conflict resolution training for public transport professionals can make a real positive difference and substantially reduced the risk of workplace related violence and subsequent injuries.
Better reporting procedures, personal attack alarms, body worn video solutions, assault screens and radio communication systems have also helped improved the personal safety of public transport professionals.
There is no question about it, lightweight and non-aggressive looking body armour will reduce the risk of physical injury when suffering from any type of assault by someone who didn’t pay for his ticket or who couldn’t care less about complying with rules and regulations, or who doesn’t understand ‘manners’ and ‘respect’ and all the things that make a good society function.
Recommending body armour does not mean we suggest all public transport professionals are in danger every time they go to work, and it doesn’t mean they should get paranoid or scared every single day they put their uniform on and start their shift.
Robert Kaiser simply says: “I genuinely believe public facing professionals will have a higher chance of remaining unharmed in the unlikely, but nevertheless possible, case of something going wrong.”
“Revenue Protection Officers can appear ‘approachable’, ‘helpful’ and ‘general safety conscious’ whilst wearing body armour, our recently developed ‘Tabard Style’ Hi-Viz Stab Resistant Vests are our ‘non-confrontational’ design option.
Should you ever have any questions in reference to body armour, then please do not hesitate and contact my team, and in the strictest of confidence they will help you to the best of their ability.
About PPSS Group:
PPSS Group is specialised in the development, manufacturing and supply of high performance body armour, offering unrivalled protection from firearms, edged weapons and blunt force trauma. PPSS Group’s social media presence: Facebook, LinkedIn,Twitter, Google+ and Instagram.