THESE are the pictures of the youths who are being hunted by police following the stabbing of a ticket inspector on a train at East Tilbury
The 42-year-old was stabbed in the back at East Tilbury station after challenging a pair of fare-dodging teenagers.
British Transport Police have now released CCTV images taken at the station of two young men they are seeking for questioning.
One, dressed in black jeans, white trainers, grins at the camera from under a black beanie.
The other, wearing a black hoodie, gazes up at the lens with his hands in his pockets.
The inspector was attacked just before 9pm yesterday (Friday) on the 8.20pm service from Southend Central to London’s Fenchurch Street.
The inspector needed three stitches at Basildon University Hospital after being assaulted and stabbed.
Police have asked any passengers who saw the incident to come forward.
Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport union, said the shocking episode highlighted the risks for transport workers during the festive season.
He said: ‘Once again it shows the dangers that transport staff face every day and particularly over the Christmas and New Year period.
‘The perpetrators of this vicious and cowardly assault must be caught and the authorities need to show that those who attack public service workers will be severely punished.
‘The RMT would urge anyone with any information on this shocking incident to contact the police urgently.’
A British Transport Police spokesman said: ‘BTP and Essex Police officers were called to East Tilbury rail station at 8.53pm on Friday, 16 December following a report that a member of c2c revenue protection staff had been stabbed on a train.
‘The incident took place on the 8.20pm c2c service from Southend Central bound for Fenchurch Street.
‘The member of staff had asked two men to leave the train at East Tilbury as they didn’t have tickets to travel. An altercation took place, resulting in the member of staff being stabbed in the back by one of the men, who both immediately fled the scene.
‘Paramedics from the East of England Ambulance Service attended and the member of staff, a 42-year-old man, was taken to Basildon University Hospital for treatment. He received three stitches for the wound and it is expected that he will be released from hospital later today.’
BTP Chief Superintendent Paul Brogden said: ‘This was an appalling and disgraceful attack on a man who was simply doing his job and who had quite rightly asked the men to leave the train.
‘Attacks of this nature on rail staff are rare, but we are treating this incident very seriously. I have a team of detectives currently making enquiries into this incident, including speaking with witnesses and looking at CCTV, and we will do everything in our power to catch the person responsible.
Julian Drury, Managing Director of c2c, said: ‘A member of our revenue protection staff was stabbed at East Tilbury whilst in the course of his duties.
‘He is receiving treatment in hospital and we are providing all necessary duty of care and support to him and his family.
‘We deplore this incident, which is being fully investigated by the British Transport Police.
‘Thankfully incidents of this nature are extremely rare and maximum efforts are being made to identify the suspects.’
Any witnesses to the attack are advised to call British Transport Police on 0800 405040 quoting reference 602 of 16/12/11.