A recent attack on a ticket inspector in Brussels has prompted the city’s public transport operator STIB-MIVB to mull the disclosure of their names.
An inspector who issued a fine to a man who passed the access gates without paying was assaulted by the fraudster at his home in Molenbeek a few days later.
STIB representatives said the fraudster was most probably able to track down the address of the inspector because his name was written on the ticket fine.
Ticket inspectors are obliged under Belgian law to write their names on the fines they issue.
The matter of anonymity has been under long debate among the inspectors and the company’s management: “This is a very serious incident. We are in favour of implementing a change so that the name of the inspector is no longer mentioned in the fines.”, company representatives said.
Cited in an article for RTBF, Stéphane Deldicque, VP of the CSC Public Services Belgium, adds that ” The unions and the management of Stib ask to be able to change this rule. Now, it is up to the political power to modify it to take into account the demands that are ours. With what has been going on in recent years, I think there is a climate which means that agents need to have this additional protection to preserve their privacy.”
Worker unions and the company management are currently meeting to discuss replacing the names of the inspectors with a code or with an identification number.
The attacker is now under arrest and is expected to appear in court for threats, assault, and injury on 20th December 2019.
The fines issued by the Belgian transport company vary from 107 to 480 euros, depending on the type of the offence.
In a parallel case, ticket inspectors working for the national Belgian railways SNCB have been exempted since a few years from wearing work badges in order to avoid similar incidents.
In an effort to combat fare evasion, STIB conducted 1.2 million ticket checks and issued 61.957 fines in 2018. Fare evasion estimates are at around 5.27%.
In the same year, the company had an annual ridership of 417,6 million journeys with 9.037 staff and 1.162 vehicles in use.
A full list of STIB’s activity reports and statistics can be found here.