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'Urgent need' to address growing levels of anti-social behaviour on public transport

Irish Rail has said it is concerned about the “worsening trend” and has undertaken measures to address it.

Image: RollingNews.ie

THERE HAS BEEN AN increase in the number of reports of anti-social behaviour incidents on Irish Rail services and there are calls for “a tougher approach” to the people who are responsible for the disruption.

According to figures released to Fianna Fail justice spokesperson Jim O’ Callaghan, Irish Rail recorded 789 reports of anti-social behaviour incidents in 2018. This compared with a total in 2017 of 690 reports of anti-social behaviour.

To date this year there have been 785 reported incidents, up from 572 in the same period last year.

Across the Dart network alone, the company has recorded 210 incidents of anti-social behaviour so far this year, up from 140 over the same period in 2018.

O’Callaghan said the growing levels of anti-social behaviour on public transport “need to be urgently addressed”.

“There has been a sharp rise in the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour on public transport in recent times, which is utterly unacceptable. More needs to be done to curb this type of behaviour, particularly given the number of people who commute to work using public transport systems.”

He said those who are continuing to disrupt commuter lines with this type of behaviour “need to realise that their actions have consequences”

“We need to see a tougher approach when it comes to stamping out this type of attitude,” he said.

In a response to questions from O’Callahan, Irish Rail’s CHief Executive Jim Meade said as well as an underlying increasing trend, there is also “greater awareness of reporting of the issues” among employees and customers.

“While the overwhelming majority of the 48 million journeys made annually on the company’s services occur without incident, the company is concerned at the worsening trend, and has undertaken a range of measures and proposes further measures to address this,” he said.

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