HEREFORD railways station's operator, Transport for Wales, is set to issue body cameras to staff in a bid to improve safety.

The rail operator said the cameras will initially be given to selected railway staff including conductors and station staff, for a trial period.

It is hoped they will help to prevent antisocial behaviour at stations and on trains.

A Transport for Wales spokesperson said over 350 reports of physical or verbal abuse against staff on trains in Wales were made last year alone, and whilst this is a small number in terms of the overall passenger journeys, the company are keen to further reduce this number as any incident should not be tolerated.

They have previously committed to providing CCTV at every station across the Wales and Borders network and introduced additional security staff.

This trial is another step forward in reducing this type of behaviour and is being delivered in partnership with the British Transport Police.

The trial will include four different type of cameras, and after a review period, one company will be selected to supplying 300 across the network.

Transport for Wales conductor Mark Clancy said: “We have to deal with a range of people daily and most of our customers are grateful and polite. We work extremely hard to give our customers the best possible experience when using our services, however at times staff and passengers do experience occasional antisocial behaviour and abuse.

“The introduction of these cameras should act as a deterrent to antisocial behaviour, support assault prosecutions and boost public confidence in safety."

BTP Superintendent Andrew 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. Fortunately, these types of incidents are few and far between, however if anyone has any concerns while travelling, they can text us on 61016.”