Dedicated transport police must combat public disorder on Dublin rail services.

- Zero tolerance approach must be adopted to stamp out threatening behaviour on Dublin public transport -

Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Justice, Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee has said repeated incidents of unruly behaviour on rail services serving the Capital’s passengers and commuters is causing severe disruption.

It was revealed this week that the number of physical attacks reported on Irish Rail trains increased from nine in 2016 to forty-three last year. Furthermore, over 700 incidents of anti-social behaviour occurred on rail lines last year, this was a marked increase from the number recorded the previous year.

Senator Clifford-Lee raised the matter with the Minister in Seanad Éireann earlier this week where she received a commitment for a review of rail security to be carried out. She said, “Irish Rail provide essential transport services to locals at six train stations in the area I live: Balbriggan, Skerries, Rush and Lusk, Donabate, Malahide and Portmarnock.

“Each of these stations connects North County Dublin, which is a densely populated commuter town, with the Capital. The North County is a popular attraction for tourists visiting Dublin and the train is one of the most convenient ways to visit our county.

“It is deeply regrettable that passengers and commuters must continue to experience persistent public disorder and antisocial behaviour on public transport in Dublin. People regularly contact me about these issues.

"Fianna Fáil has consistently advocated for a zero tolerance approach to be taken to stamp out the brazenness of these culprits targeting rail users.

“We have long proposed to establish a dedicated Dublin Transport Police unit which will be responsible for enforcing the law on all public transport services in Dublin.

He concluded, “It’s time to give serious consideration to a dedicated Transport Police service like they have in the UK. The powers of the transport police should emulate those of An Garda Síochána - Anti-social behaviour, threats, violence or intimidation have no place on our transport system.