Dedicated transport police now needed
Labour Transport spokesperson Sen. Kevin Humphreys has welcomed the move by Irish Rail to put on extra security staff at certain north Dublin stations but said there was still a need for a dedicated transport police force to address the overall increase in violence and anti-social behaviour.
Senator Humphreys said:
“The large increase in anti-social behaviour on our trains as revealed by RTE’s This Week last Sunday is a wake up call for the Government, and it’s time Minister Ross took action.
“Workers in Irish Rail are gravely concerned at the many incidents that have occurred recently, but staff there shouldn’t have to resort to the withdrawal of services when there are solutions available.
“Over 1,000 incidents of anti-social behaviour have been reported since 2017 by Iarnród Éireann but we know this just covers those that have been officially recorded.
“The type of threats and abuse that is being directed at staff is not acceptable and must be tackled. We would all prefer if these attacks didn’t happen in the first place, but we have to deal with the reality of what is happening.
“Additional security at flash points along the DART north of Connolly Station will help address problems there, but won’t deal with the overall increase in anti-social behaviour.
“The obvious solution is to establish a dedicated public transport police unit, through An Garda Síochána, similar to the British Transport Police.
“Unfortunately, Minister Ross has been more concerned with reforming judicial appointments rather than addressing the problems in our transport systems.”