Dedicated transport police needed
Labour Transport spokesperson Senator Kevin Humphreys, has welcomed the Minister’s comments to work to ensure An Garda Síochána have the adequate resources to tackle the issue of anti-social behavior and violence onboard Irish Rail services.
Senator Humphreys said:
“Following RTE’s This Week last Sunday, which highlighted the increase in anti-social behavior and violence onboard Irish Rail services and in stations. I raised the issue in Seanad as a matter of urgency which government needs to address.
“I welcome Minister for Justice’s comments in response in which he agreed with me that An Garda Síochána must be assisted in their work to alleviate this behavior.
“The obvious solution is to establish a dedicated public transport police unit, through An Garda Síochána, similar to the British Transport Police.
“There has been a 20-year long campaign by SIPTU to get a dedicated transport police service, which is a campaign I support and will continue to work for from the Seanad.
“Workers in Irish Rail are gravely concerned at the many incidents that have occurred recently, but the staff there shouldn’t have to resort to the withdrawal of services when there are solutions available.
“Over 1,000 incidents of anti-social behavior 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 flashpoints along the DART north of Connolly Station will help address problems there, but won’t deal with the overall increase in anti-social behavior.
“I look forward to continuing to work with Government and all parties to see this goal achieved for the safety of both staff and customers of Iarnród Éireann.