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TSSA condemns spitting incident at Mile End tube station

22 May 2020

TSSA has condemned in the strongest terms a "disgusting and frightening" spitting assault which took place at Mile End underground station yesterday.

 The assault occurred at around 11:30 when a male customer approached gate line staff at the London underground station and demanded they open the gate as he didn’t have a ticket for the barriers. Staff asked him to step back so that they could safely social distance, but he became very aggressive and made threats of violence, including that he would break their noses. He then swore at an older female customer who intervened and threatened to spit in her face and at staff. He turned and spat a huge spray of saliva in the face of the female customer. British Transport Police (BTP) were called and spit samples were taken from female customer’s face and arms.

It is not clear whether the assailant had coronavirus.


Lorraine Ward, TSSA Official for London Underground, said: “We strongly condemn this disgusting and frightening incident.

“Spitting has always been considered an assault, but following the tragic story of Belly Mujinga and heightened fears over the highly contagious coronavirus, more must be done to prevent such horrendous acts of violence against transport workers and passengers.

“Our union is pleased the BTP were on the scene straight away at Mile End and we hope that a prosecution can be secured. We’re redoubling our call for protective visors to be made available to all frontline transport workers across the rail, tube and bus networks as they provide a greater degree of protection from such acts.”


TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes added: "Spitting at someone is always disgusting, but during the current Coronavirus pandemic it's also bloody dangerous. The BTP must prosecute anyone who spits at public transport workers and bosses must ensure our members are given whatever protective equipment they need."

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