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Hebrides News


Ferry operator CalMac is launching a new campaign to reinforce its zero tolerance policy on unacceptable behaviour.





Cal Mac clamps down on disorderly passengers

12 December 2017

Over the past six months staff in ports and on-board vessels have reported a small but worrying increase in incidents of either verbal or physical abuse.


In one incident a passenger was aggressive to ticket office workers and jumped onto the counter trying to get over to the staff.  Police charged him for breach of the peace.


Various times police have been called to deal with a regular traveller on a busy small ferry who has a habit of turning up drunk and being abusive to staff. He is now banned from getting onboard if suspected to be intoxicated.


One truck driver was reported to his bosses after getting angry and aggressive when crew asked him to temporarily unload his artic - which was blocking the ramp - so other vehicles would be re-organised to allow him to sail.


CalMac’s director of safety, environment and security, Louis de Wolff said: “Safety of our staff is a priority for us and recently we have seen a small upsurge of abusive passengers behaving in an intolerable way towards staff, this is unacceptable.


“With people out and about socialising more over the festive period we felt this was a good time to reinforce the standards of behaviour we expect passengers to have towards our staff.


“Good customer service is important for us and we are always striving to improve the way we deal with passengers, but in return we expect the same levels of courtesy.”

He added: “Being a lifeline service we understand the importance of our sailings to customers and that they may become frustrated if the service does not go to plan, often because of circumstances outwith our control.


“This is a very small minority of passengers but we feel we need to highlight that we will not tolerate any instance of work related violence, including verbal abuse, to our staff.


“Prosecution is a last resort but it is something we will consider if necessary and have had reason to proceed with in the past.”

Other options for dealing with customers displaying abusive behaviour include not allowing the customer to board, banning a customer from sailing for a specific time period and requesting the police remove individuals from company premises.