Gardaí are to increase train patrols after noticing an increase in drug addicts using the rail to travel to Dublin to buy substances during lockdown. It has been reported that addicts have been travelling on the trains whilst “off their heads”.
Gardaí have been working closely with Irish Rail to tackle the problem. This is part of a special policing plan. They have noticed this problem on a number of different rail routes.
The problem is outstanding in the Kildare Garda division. Community police units have been present at train stations. They will even be travelling on trains.
“Not a nice situation”
“It is not a nice situation for an elderly person who is travelling for a hospital appointment to be faced with these type of individuals who are often off their head on drugs” a senior source said.
This source also explained, “They are using the rail network to travel to train stations in west Dublin such as Clondalkin/Fonthill or the city centre from towns such as Portaloise, Portarlington, Newbridge and Kildare. They added “This is so that they can buy drugs and then travel back to their home towns”.
The source also stated that Irish Rail and Gardaí are working closely on this operation. They added that the anti-social behaviour of these people is at its worst in the morning time.
They explained, “Irish Rail have provided gardaí with a timetable of the problematic trains in terms of drugs and anti-social behaviour and these are most common in the morning time and it is these trains that gardaí have been focusing on”.
“Two highly intoxicated individuals”
Last week, Kildare Garda Station reported that two “highly intoxicated” men received fixed penalty notices for breaching travel restrictions. Under current Level 5 rules, people are not allowed to venture more than 5 km from their home.
Their source stated, “These were two highly intoxicated individuals who were well in breach of the regulations. They got out of the train in Kildare and then ran away from gardaí across the train tracks,”.
They also added, “When gardaí caught up with them they claimed that they had missed their stop at Sallins which is over 28km away – they were issued with the on-the-spot fine”.
A young boy was also found with a haul of cannabis on a train in Kildare. He had been travelling from Westport in county Mayo to Dublin to buy €2,000 worth of drugs. He was cautioned under the Garda Youth Diversion Programme.
“Gardaí very active in supporting us”
Barry Kenny is the corporate communications manager for Irish Rail. Kenny said,“Our local management meet regularly with gardaí collectively from Ballyfermot to Portlaoise to review all issues and coordinate policing support”.
He also ensured that Gardaí have been supportive with Irish rail in their policies against anti-social behaviour and non-essential travel. “Gardaí are very active in supporting us on issues relating to non-essential travel and anti-social behaviour including in Clondalkin Fonthill and along the Heuston commuter routes”.
Last Monday, Gardaí were also called to an incident where a train was delayed as people were using drugs on it. This occured at Hazelhatch in Kildare, on the Dublin to Cork route. The train was delayed for half an hour while officers removed suspects from the train. These type of incidents have been highly prevalent.
Since the pandemic began, Gardaí have also been boarding trains much more regularly, removing people for not wearing facemasks.