Thousands of incidents have been recorded by gardaí in tackling anti-social behaviour on public transport in Dublin. However over a five month period, just 65 have resulted in criminal charges.
New figures show there were 3,061 incidents recorded between the end of January and the end of June under Operation Saul that aims to reduce anti-social behaviour and deal with public order issues on public transport in Dublin.
Dermot O’Leary from the National Bus and Rail Union says it’s concerning they resulted in just 65 criminal charges – as the vast majority were classified as non crimes;
”It doesn’t have to be registered as a crime to offend or hurt on injure, either physically in some cases or verbally, or it doesn’t have to be a recorded crime for people not to travel on public transport.”
Mark Gleeson from Rail Users Ireland says one person can disrupt or intimidate dozens of passengers;
”It all can be solved by having a clearer security presence and also a much clearer get tough response that anyone who breaches the rules is removed at the earliest opportunity.”
The operation that’s currently running in three garda divisions in the capital is expected to be rolled out to the entire Dublin region.
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Martin Kenny TD, has already reiterated calls for the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee to establish a transport policing system within An Garda Síochána “without any further delay“.
He said “There’s mounting evidence of assault, intimidation and harassment of drivers, and repeated calls by the National Bus and Rail Union for the introduction of a transport policing unit to ensure the safety of their members and the public they serve.
“Some passengers have reported to the union of feeling unsafe due to previous instances of criminal behaviour onboard a variety of services, something that is particularly true for young women, and people with disabilities who feel most vulnerable.
“I am urging both the Minister for Justice and Minister for Transport to re-examine their opposition to a Transport Policing Unit of An Garda Síochána without further delay.”