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Drugs, physical abuse, vandalism ‘par for course’ on Dart, bus, Luas

Since January, a total of 211 carriages operated
                  by the Dart service have been vandalised, generating a
                  bill for repair in excess of €500,000. Photo: Stock
                  image

Since January, a total of 211 carriages operated by the Dart service have been vandalised, generating a bill for repair in excess of €500,000. Photo: Stock image

November 22 2021 02:30 AM


More than 200 Dart carriages have been vandalised this year, with repairs and cleaning costing the taxpayer in excess of €500,000.

Since January, a total of 211 carriages operated by the Dart service have been vandalised, according to figures supplied to Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell by Irish Rail.

It also emerged Irish Rail passengers have sent 71 texts to its alert system about anti-social behaviour on trains.

This included 50 complaints reported by Dart commuters since the system was introduced.

The most common complaints related to passengers drinking, smoking or taking drugs on trains, with 27 alerts sent to Irish Rail.

A further 22 people complained about “youths causing disturbances”, according to Mr Farrell’s figures.

Nine text alerts relating to harassment on trains were sent by commuters while another five were regarding verbal abuse.

Separately, Bus Éireann figures showed incidents of malicious damages on buses have almost doubled this year.

Last year, there were 43 incidents of malicious damage on buses while figures for the same period in 2021 stand at 80 incidents.

Mr Farrell said gardaí should set up a dedicated unit to tackle anti-social behaviour and vandalism on buses, trains, Darts and the Luas.

“As a regular Dart user, I have witnessed this anti-social behaviour, including young male Dart users making threatening comments of a sexual nature towards a female passenger, something which simply cannot be tolerated,” he said.

“A recent report from Transport Infrastructure Ireland revealed 34pc of women have stated that feelings of insecurity have prevented them from travelling – with a lack of safety infrastructure exacerbating these feelings.

“We recently learned of personal accounts in the media of what Irish Rail staff experience on a regular basis as part of their work.

“Drug dealing and taking, as well as verbal and physical abuse, seem to now be par for the course for those travelling and working on public transport,” the report said.

Mr Farrell said “high-visibility policing” on public transport would send the message that “anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and perpetrators will face consequences for their actions”.

“The presence of gardaí aboard our trains and buses will not only provide peace of mind for staff and users, it will also crucially deter anti-social behaviour and abuse,” he said.


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