This morning frustration was running high on the S-train for commuters on the E and A lines south of Copenhagen – due to cable theft there were no trains running between Hundige and Åmarken and long waits for replacement bus services.
But in what is becoming a worrying trend, more and more passengers are taking their frustration out on members of staff on public transport, Metroxpress reports.
Acts of violence against bus drivers and train conductors are at their highest level for five years, according to figures from the transport operators DSB, Movia, Metro Service and Busselskabet Aarhus Sporveje.
Two types of offender
Last year alone, DSB recorded 134 incidents of violence against its staff. Henrik René Novak, who is the union representative for 325 train conductors, described a typical incident.
“The day before yesterday, a colleague caught a 14-year-old girl stealing a bottle of water from 1st class,” he said.
“She ended up with a black eye and a cut lip.”
Lars Peter Andersen, a psychologist and researcher into workplace violence, told the newspaper that while some of the offenders were drug addicts or people with psychological disorders, others were just ordinary people in a stressful situation.
“This second type of person could be you or me,” he said.
“But in a stressful situation they lose their temper if an inspector makes a demand of them.”