05 Jul 2022

Demand for transport police to tackle train trouble

Country's biggest trade union want action

train commuter

Portlaoise Train Station

The country's biggest trade union has demanded action from Government to tackle anti-social behaviour on trains.

SIPTU has sought a meeting with government ministers and renewed its call for a dedicated transport police service to adequately counter the rise of anti-social behaviour on our public transport system. 

SIPTU Sector Organiser, John Murphy, commented in a statement issued on Tuesday, November 2.

"I have written to the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan and Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, asking them for an urgent meeting to discuss the issue of anti-social behaviour on our public transport system.

“While anti-social behaviour on our public transport system and infrastructure is not a new problem, it does appear to have recently escalated. SIPTU representatives have continually highlighted this matter for more than 20 years. Unfortunately, no adequate or lasting solutions have been put in place at government level.

He added: “We have for many years held the view that a uniform standardised response is needed across all forms of public transport. This can only occur with the direct involvement of both the Department of Justice and Department of Transport. The view of SIPTU members is that a dedicated transport police service needs to be established to provide protection and give confidence to passengers using the public transport system and those working to provide it.”

SIPTU Organiser, Paul Cullen, said: “In 2018, SIPTU made a submission to the Rail Safety Advisory Council (RSAC) which included the call for the creation of a transport police service. The RASC took on board our suggestion and recommended the immediate establishment of a dedicated unit of An Garda to police the rail network. We are calling on the Government to act on this recommendation of a dedicated police unit not only for the rail network but to patrol the entire public transport system.

He added: “We believe the best way to resolve this issue is through dialogue with the Department of Justice and Department of Transport. However, if this does not result in an adequate response our members will have to consider industrial action.”

Irish Rail staff are facing threats of violence, sexual assault and open drug use on an almost daily basis, according to the NBRU who wrote to Government last week threatening industrial action.

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