Public disorder on rail services leads to call for transport police

by Padraig Conlon
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A local TD wants a “zero-tolerance” approach to worsening levels of anti-social behaviour on Dublin trains.

In response to a Parliamentary Question asked by Justice spokesperson Jim O’Callaghan, Minister for Transport Shane Ross revealed details of reported incidents of anti-social behaviour on both Irish Rail and Dart services.

The figures show that in 2018, across the Iarnród Éireann network (including DART, Commuter and Intercity), the company recorded 789 reports of anti-social behaviour incidents.

This compared with a total in 2017 of 690 reports of anti-social behaviour.

So far in 2019 there have been 785 incidents recorded, up from 572 from this time last year.

Fianna Fail Dublin South West TD John Lahart said the rise in incidents is a call for urgent action to be taken.

“The Dart and Irish Rail and Luas services, each provide an essential service to Dubliners and those visiting our city,” he said.

“It is deeply frustrating that the challenging behaviour of a small disruptive minority continues to cause disruption to services.

“The management in Irish Rail and the Dart have made good efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour on their services, however, they are limited and do not have the necessary authority to do what is needed.

“Fianna Fáil has proposed the establishment of a Dublin Transport Police unit which will be responsible for enforcing the law on all public transport services in Dublin. 

“The powers of the transport police will reflect the powers of An Garda Síochána with specific limits as to jurisdiction.

 “A zero-tolerance approach must be taken to target the culprits of anti-social behaviour and deter these incidents from persistently occurring on the Capital’s public transport services,” concluded Deputy Lahart.

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