CalMac frontline staff are wearing body cameras after an increase in abuse from passengers about delays and cancellations.
The bodycams are being trialled over the summer on the Largs to Cumbrae ferry route and could be extended across the service.
Largs port manager Rachael Murdoch said: “The level of aggression against staff has gone up significantly during the pandemic, especially this summer.
“This has definitely been the worst summer we’ve had in terms of aggression from passengers, both from tourists and island communities.
“The island residents would like priority to go back and forward. If they are coming off the island to do their shopping and face a two-hour queue, you can understand their frustrations. But if you are constantly getting constant verbal abuse it can be very stressful and draining on the staff.
“We’ve started to trial body cameras as a deterrent and to stop altercations continuing. They have been used a few times this summer and have helped to situations more quickly.”
The bodycams, more commonly used by police officers, are for CalMac staff working outdoors, while ticket office staff are covered by CCTV.
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, who met CalMac staff in Largs on Friday, said: “I understand people’s frustrations about long queues or breakdowns, but staff shouldn’t have to bear the brunt of that.
“Staff should be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”
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