There has been a call for dedicated transport police to be introduced, after the number of incidents on public transport has increased.

Fresh calls for the force have been issues as news emerged that An Garda Siochana had to deal with over 400 complaints of anti-social behaviour, predominately on trains, in addition to 43 assaults.

The Government is aiming to improve the experience of passengers with the move, and to ensure the safety of drivers and those on public transport.

Central Statistics Office figures detail that the amount of people opting for public transport is growing consistently as people leave their cars at home.

Labour spokesperson for Transport, Senator Kevin Humphreys said: “I am happy to hear that the Government are considering the establishment of a dedicated policing unit for public transport. This has been recommended by the Railway Safety Advisory Committee and has been a longstanding issue for transport unions.

“I have raised this issue with the Ministers for Justice and Transport, as well in the Seanad over the last year. I have also written to the Minister for Transport last summer, asking him to give this proposal serious consideration.

“I am also of the opinion that any unit should be set up within An Garda Síochána, and not be farmed 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 public transport.

“I am calling on the Minister for Justice and Transport to bring forward legislation before we hit peak customer journey numbers by next summer.”