A bus driver was threatened with rape – union is pushing for its own police unit in local public transport

Ireland’s main transport union is calling on the government to create a special transport police unit with earmarked funding amid warnings about anti-social behavior on buses, trains and trams.

The call comes as the issue of threats and attacks against transport workers will dominate the National Bus and Railworkers Union (NBRU) annual conference, which opens in Cork today.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin will open the conference and will be asked to support urgent action to tackle antisocial and threatening behavior on the transport network.

NBRU members will host a special panel outlining the sinister nature of threats and attacks against bus, train and tram workers.

In recent months, several bus and train workers have been attacked – in one case a worker was threatened with rape.

In the first six months of 2022, there were 763 incidents of antisocial behavior on the rail network. Incidents ranged from assaults and sexual harassment to public indecency and soiling of seats and carriages.

Numerous incidents also involved drug and alcohol abuse.

In Cork, a bus driver was threatened with rape after she asked a group of rowdy young people to pay the fair fare.

An NBRU official said verbal abuse of bus, train and tram staff is now “an alarming fact of everyday life”.

Workers are also concerned that anti-social behavior, including attacks on commuters, threatens to undermine government efforts to promote public transport and convince people to leave their cars at home.

NBRU Secretary-General Dermot O’Leary said the seriousness of the situation could not be overstated for either transport workers or commuters.

“Something needs to be done about this as a national priority – we want our own transport police unit. It’s amazing we don’t have one.”

Garda bosses have already dismissed any request for a special transport unit.

“(An Garda Síochána) is proactively working with transport companies including the National Transport Authority, Irish Rail (Dart and InterCity Rail) and Transdev Ireland (Luas) to provide a coordinated Garda presence on public transport, anti-social behavior,” said a speaker.

“All incidents reported to An Garda Síochána will be fully investigated with a proactive arrest policy and prosecuted where possible. An Garda Síochána is not currently considering setting up a transport police unit.”

NBRU Deputy Secretary General Tom O’Connor said incidents of antisocial behavior had been increasing for some time. He said five attacks on transport workers were reported during a two-week period this summer.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/one-female-bus-driver-was-threatened-with-rape-union-pushes-for-dedicated-police-unit-on-public-transport-42052943.html A bus driver was threatened with rape – union is pushing for its own police unit in local public transport

Fry Electronics Team

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