RSCA recommendations welcome but must not be privately contracted
Labour spokesperson for Transport, Senator Kevin Humphries has welcomed the Railway Safety Advisory Committee recommendation for a dedicated policing unit for railways in Ireland.
Commenting today Senator Humphries said:
“The recommendation of the RSAC to the Minister for Transport is very welcome. I have raised this issue with the Ministers for Justice and Transport, as well in the Seanad over the last year. While I welcome the recommendations, which have now gone to the Minister for Justice, I will continue to keep the pressure on the government to deliver on this unit and to ensure that it is not contracted out to a private security firm.
“Private securities firms do not have the authority to detain people who commit violent or antisocial acts on board trains. A policing unit for public transport must be set up within An Garda Síochána.
“The number of anti-social incidents onboard rail services has been increasing at a significant rate for some time now. 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.
“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.
“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”