Calls for dedicated Luas police to curb attacks

by Mark O'Brien

Over 1,000 incidents of anti-social behaviour on Luas Cross City services were reported in 2016, leading to calls for a dedicated Dublin Transport Police Unit.

TD John Lahart (FF) – a member of the Luas-Dublin Bus forum in Dublin South West, said it is “deeply regrettable” that commuters continue to contact him with reports of anti-social behaviour on the Luas.

“Whether it’s the Luas, Dart or Dublin Bus, they each provide an essential service to so many Dubliners and those visiting our city,” he said.

“A zero-tolerance approach must be taken to target the culprits and combat incidents of anti-social-behaviour on transport services.”

There have been numerous incidents on the Luas in the past year.

Earlier this month, reports emerged of a 19-year-old woman being attacked by a man near the Fettercairn Luas stop.

Also this month, a man was sentenced to three years imprisonment with 18 months suspended for attacking and robbing a Brazilian student in 2015 on the Luas at Inchicore.

In April, Jordan Lee (19) was sentenced to three months in prison for breaking a man’s nose after the man asked Mr Lee to stop smoking on the Luas at Suir Road.

Deputy Lahart said that while Transdev – who operate the Luas – have made substantial efforts to curb anti-social behaviour on the Luas, he did not believe that private security firms had the necessary authority to tackle the on-going issues.

“Fianna Fail has consistently proposed to examine the concept of establishing a Dublin Transport Police unit which will be responsible for enforcing the law on all public transport services,” he said.

He said that the majority of funding for the transport police could be funded through the public transport operators and their powers would reflect those of the gardai.

“Added to this, a collaborative effort between community groups and youth services would also help to tackle challenging behaviour by some members of the public using the tram service,” he said.

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