Police appeal as train guard is assaulted

tis  Traffic waiting at Starbeck level crossing.  090902M2b.
tis Traffic waiting at Starbeck level crossing. 090902M2b.

A witness appeal has been launched by police after a train guard was viciously attacked in an unprovoked attack in Starbeck.

Police officers from British Transport Police (BTP) are investigating after a conductor was punched in the face.

The attack happened as he was opening the carriage doors at Starbeck railway station.

PC Mark Birdsall of BTP said: “The train guard was opening the doors of the Leeds to Knaresborough service as it arrived at the station when he felt a blow to the left side of his face.

His glasses were broken and lenses cracked.

PC Birdsall added: “Luckily the train guard avoided any serious injuries to his eyes but he has sustained pains to the side of his face and has been left with a pitched noise in his left ear.

“This was an unprovoked attack on a member of staff simply doing his job; the incident has left him very shocked.”

British Tranport Police is the specialist, national police service for Briatin’s railways.

Long term, say BTP, crime is down 12 per cent in the North Eastern area, which includes Harrogate, in the last year. Figures published last month show that violent crime fell by 6per cent from 2011 to 2012 while vandalism was down 13per cent.

Officers are now appealing to anyone who may have witnessed the attack, which took place at around 6.30pm on Friday, May 18 ,at the station.

“BTP will not tolerate assaults of any kind towards railway staff and we will do everything possible to track down the offenders and bring them to justice,” said PC Birdsall.

“The train was delayed and we are investigating claims that this assault may be linked to a disgruntled passenger due to this.

“I would like to appeal to anyone who may have witnessed the incident to contact police.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact BTP on 080 405040 quoting incident 558 of 18/05/2012.

Information can also be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.