Viewers have praised a video campaign highlighting the abuse suffered by customer-facing workers as “powerful” and “important”.
The Together Against Hate project premiered a TV advert featuring employees reflecting on why they love working for the public, overlaid with recordings and CCTV footage of severe abuse.
It broadcast during Gogglebox on Channel 4 on Friday night, in partnership with Nationwide Building Society, Co-op and other companies.
The campaign drew support on social media.
A series of users shared the message: “I’m standing with @AskNationwide, @coopuk, @networkrail, @Channel4 and @global. Let’s build society with mutual respect and unite. #TogetherAgainstHate.”
Another wrote: “Powerful ad break on Channel 4 highlighting abuse and violence against customer-facing staff.”
A third said: “Thank you nationwide for making a stand against this type of behaviour. So sad to hear and see what happens to our front line staff. Well done to Nationwide, the Coop and Network Rail.”
One praised Channel 4 for hosting the advert during a prime-time slot.
They said: “Well done Channel 4 for showing an ad break all about abuse customer-facing staff receive. Included one of @networkrail – important to raise this awareness because it does happen, and it shouldn’t.”
Network Rail also joined a campaign, saying attacks on staff happen “all too often”.
Some 70% of frontline rail staff have experienced workplace violence in the last 12 months, according to the Rail Safety and Standards Board.
Norrie Courts, director of stations at Network Rail, said: “Customer-facing station staff play a crucial role in helping our passengers travel safely and reliably by rail.
“There have been fewer passengers since March with many people working from home, but our station staff – whether working on a gate line, undertaking extra cleaning, offering travel advice or passenger mobility assistance – have continued to turn up for work throughout the pandemic to ensure key workers and others relying on rail can travel and use stations safely.
“The last thing these hard-working and dedicated staff should face is violence and abuse, yet it happens all too often.
“We urge all passengers and station users to treat rail staff with respect and consider the impact their harmful words or actions could have on the mental and physical health of others.”
Channel 4 sales director Matt Salmon said: “Partnering with the Together Against Hate campaign is an opportunity for Channel 4 to do what we do best – using the power of TV to encourage debate and inspire positive societal change.
“Customer-facing staff up and down the country are vital in helping us all, day in, day out and abuse of any kind should never be tolerated.”