At the time, KAD identified three vital areas of focus: work with the local community, support to frontline staff, and collaboration with the British Transport Police (BTP). Let’s have a look at what has changed since then.

Working with their local community

KAD continues its work with councils to explore how to reach people with support and have developed a leaflet with support options available. This follows work with food banks and charities to support them to address, or in addressing, societal issues such as homelessness, unemployment, and mental health difficulties.

To ensure frontline staff are equipped to deal with customers, KAD has rolled out mental health awareness and neurodiversity training. Training covering different cultures and faiths helped employees understand how those may be are relevant to how customers should be approached. Verbal assaults related to revenue protection - previously the highest - have dropped from around ten per period, to six. In total, workplace violence has dropped by about 25 incidents per period.

Supporting frontline staff

Body-worn cameras continue to be rolled out. KAD has noticed an increase in the percentage of employees switching the cameras on.

KAD continued to build a learning culture by creating a new process for reviewing work-related violence incidents. Incidents are reviewed to explore what happened, what can be learnt and what could have been different. Colleagues then review the incidents, too. They can suggest different ways of managing and supporting the individual involved to find alternative solutions.

Recent engagement with unions shows that work-related violence is no longer staff’s number one concern.

Collaborating with the BTP

KAD and the BTP have worked together to deliver four waves of Operation Roster. After almost a year of these operations, KAD reports a drop in overall incidents. They believe it may be due, in part, to customers understanding that these may be a regular occurrence, which may deter criminal activity. But not only that: customer satisfaction with personal safety is also increasing. Quarter four showed an increase of 3%. KAD is now using additional feedback from customers to change how the service is provided. 

What else has KAD put in place in light of feedback received?

KAD hired a Network Security Team, to support the management of lower-end anti-social behaviour, helping diffuse and de-escalate situations. The team also serves the purpose of enhancing exchange of intelligence with security teams on what is happening along the network. Social media posts and TFL complaints are reviewed daily to help spot any inappropriate behaviour. Information is then sent to the Network Security Team who can take action to prevent further occurrences. One particular area of concern has been people using lifts for sleeping in and taking drugs. Lifts are now closely monitored, with more inspections on them. 

What would KAD do differently?

KAD believes that more can and should be done to make it clear that it is not acceptable for staff to be subject to violence. Focussing more on advertising BTP’s Railway Guardian App  can be a good way forward, as well as doing more work to help customers understand violence is not accepted in the Dockland communities.

KAD understands that a work-related violence strategy requires a long-term programme and a consistent action plan. It’s not a one-off project. For KAD, it’s vital to reflect on how they want to deal with their customers and what that says about their identity as an organisation. A great example of this is the ‘Service Signature for Staff – Helpful tips for customer service excellence’ booklet. KAD and KeolisAmey Manchester already use this booklet. It provides employees with guidance on how to help customers on their journeys. It includes options for helping to plan journeys, frequently asked questions on ticketing, vocabulary for communicating with people in different languages, and tips to support special passenger needs.

What would KAD like to say to other organisations who may be looking to tackle work-related violence?

‘When looking to tackle workplace violence it is vital to take a collaborative approach, both with colleagues in your business and external stakeholders. Working in partnership to improve on data capture, evidence gathering, and overall better reporting assists the BTP in helping us. Targeted operations or patrols are only one solution to this problem. But securing convictions and raising the profile of the work being done to tackle it and can help prevent it from happening in the first place. Build those relationships with neighbouring operators, local communities, and the BTP so that everyone can help each other. This will most likely solve a multitude of problems. Finally, don't be afraid to reach out and talk to others in the industry or outside who have taken on these challenges. It may not be the best approach for you to copy what someone else has done, but it can help you build an individual plan for your organisation.’ Andrew Dickinson - Service Delivery Director, KeolisAmey Docklands