The Green Party has backed calls by the National Bus and Railworkers Union for a dedicated public transport police.
In the wake of last night’s stabbing on a train in Killester, Dublin, the party has suggested that Ireland should consider the UK British Transport Police model of a special police force that polices railways and light rail systems across England, Scotland, and Wales.
Green Party Spokesperson for Transport, Cllr Ciarán Cuffe: “There are real concerns about safety and harassment in public spaces and on public transport. The establishment of a dedicated force to tackle antisocial behaviour and crime in such places would help reassure the public and provide more confidence for those who travel by public transport.
“Currently, private security firms such as STT Risk Management work with An Garda Síochána and public transport providers such as Transdev to minimise antisocial behaviour and fare evasion. However, a dedicated transport policing force could provide a service that would work seamlessly between all transport providers.
“In addition, they could be given powers to oversee taxis and ensure traffic regulations are enforced, such as incorrect parking in disabled parking bays or on footpaths.
“Many countries have dedicated police that oversee public safety and traffic management. We believe our Minister for Transport, Tourism, and Sport Shane Ross TD, and the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan should sit down and come up with a plan to tackle these types of crime, which are of huge concern to the travelling public.”
Green Party Representative for Howth-Malahide, Cllr David Healy: “We have had a particular increase in harassment and vandalism on trains and stations in recent months. Despite this, Iarnród Éireann is planning to leave some of the problem locations unstaffed, and every time it’s raised with them the Gardaí indicate that they do not have the resources to adequately police the rail network. A properly funded public transport system is also a safe and secure system. The Government needs to commit to provide the necessary resources for dedicated policing of public transport vehicles and stops.”
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