Sunday 22 September 2019

No new public transport garda unit

NO NEW UNIT: Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. Picture: Colin O'Riordan
NO NEW UNIT: Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. Picture: Colin O'Riordan
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris will not set up a special unit to police public transport and combat anti-social behaviour, despite concerns from a leading safety authority.

Government officials had been in the dark on the issue since the Railway Safety Advisory Council, a body with powers similar to the Health and Safety Authority, wrote to Transport Minister Shane Ross last summer making the case for extra resources to be provided to secure transport routes and stations.

With the Garda Commissioner driving a number of key reforms of An Garda Siochana it had been proposed that resources would be channelled into policing public transport.

Mr Ross had made representations to Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan on this issue after hearing concerns from stakeholders in the industry.

Gardai have now confirmed that plans to develop a Garda unit dedicated to ensuring public order on key commuter routes are not being considered.

"An Garda Siochana continues to work with public transport providers to prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour," a Garda spokeswoman said.

"For example, over the Christmas period An Garda Siochana is working with public transport providers to prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour on late night services.

"An Garda Siochana is not considering the establishment of a transport police unit at the moment."

Sunday Independent

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