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New Garda division should take responsibility for safety on public transport - Councillor

Councillor Deirdre Donnelly says if we want more people to use public transport, it has to be safe
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

08.05 21 Oct 2021


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New Garda division should take...

New Garda division should take responsibility for safety on public transport - Councillor

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

08.05 21 Oct 2021


Share this article


There are calls for a Garda division to take responsibility for safety on public transport, until a dedicated Transport Police can be established.

Independent Dublin Councillor Deirdre Donnelly is calling for the change following a recent increase in anti-social behaviour on public transport systems.

This includes an incident of chants of "let's rape her" directed at a woman on a DART train earlier this month, which were branded 'disgusting' and 'distressing'.

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Councillor Donnelly told Newstalk Breakfast if we want more people to use public transport, it has to be safe.

"There is a major problem here with safety, and I think we've heard over the last while about issues with criminal activity and anti-social behaviour.

"In particular, more than anything on the Luas and on the DART services. I think for that reason alone we do need to have more policing.

"But we are encouraging people to use more public transport, we want to take cars off the road, we're trying to work on climate change initiatives.

"And if we're going to have a good public transport service and want people using it, we need to be able to protect our citizens."

She says there could be an issue with a new policing service, but there are ways around this.

"We would need to have a designated police service for this.

"I know at the moment that there would be some difficulties in relation to the legalities of it.

"At the moment, the private companies who run and look after the Luas - in particular - the people who are employed by Iarnród Éireann for the DART, those people do not necessarily have the powers to arrest someone, bring them to a Garda station, charge them and all of that.

"In the long-term we could look at a designated Transport Police service.

"But I think in the medium-term, we could certainly look at a division of the Gardaí - for example we have the Traffic Corps, we have a Community Policing division, we have a division of the Gardaí tackling gangland crime.

"And I don't see why we would not have a division of An Garda Síochána there patrolling our public transport to make it safe for everybody".

Main image: A Garda stops a car at a checkpoint on the N3 in Dublin in 2006. Picture by :Leon Farrell/RollingNews.ie

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Anti-social Behaviour Councillor Deirdre Donnelly Dart Iarnrod Eireann Luas Newstalk Breakfast Public Transport Transport Police Transport Police Service

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