It's hardly surprising that rail workers are angry about an attack on a conductor at Keighley Station after a ticket dispute with a group of passengers.

Their anger should be shared by all those whose work brings them into contact with the public and might occasionally involve confrontation.

Too often nowadays, it seems, people are ready to lash out when they find themselves in dispute with an official. In the case of the conductor, he was attacked at Keighley station after a dispute with five youths on the train from Bradford Forster Square and needed hospital treatment for cuts and a badly bruised eye.

No-one should have to risk a beating for simply doing their job. Yet this year, according to the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT), the number of assaults and incidents of abuse on rail staff rose to more than 5,000. This upward trend has to be reversed.

Northern Rail say that the safety and wellbeing of their staff and customers is of paramount importance which is why they have a zero-tolerance approach towards anti-social, abusive and criminal behaviour. But a zero-tolerance policy is only effective if the culprits can be identified and prosecuted.

The company's area director, Malcolm Brown, is urging anyone with any information about Monday's incident to contact the British Transport Police. Let's hope that some of the other passengers on that train pass on information which will help the culprits be brought to justice, for the sake of staff and fellow-travellers alike.