Antisocial behaviour on Dublin’s Luas trams increases, figures show

South Dublin TD calls for public transport safety measures in advance of Christmas

Reported incidences of anti-social behaviour on Dublin’s Luas trams are increasing significantly.    Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Reported incidences of anti-social behaviour on Dublin’s Luas trams are increasing significantly. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

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Reported incidences of antisocial behaviour on Dublin’s Luas trams are increasing significantly with 593 cases in 2019, rising to 702 in 2020, and 679 in the first 10 months of this year.

According to statistics released to Dublin Rathdown TD Neale Richmond there has been an 18 per cent increase in the incidence of antisocial behaviour on trams, with a further 679 incidences occurring up to October this year, meaning reported incidents are rising at about 100 a year – even through Covid lockdowns.

Communities at Ballyogan on southside of the Green Line and along the Red Line in the vicinity of the Grand Canal as well as at Belgard and Tallaght, are working closely with Luas Operator Transdev in a bid to curb antisocial behaviour on parts of the network, according to community representatives in these areas.

Much of the antisocial behaviour involves harassment of law-abiding passengers, aided by the ease with which miscreants can board the barrier-free trams.

Mr Richmond has called on Minister for Justice Helen McEntee to use an expert forum on antisocial behaviour, which her department has established, to “urgently consider further action to address this rise in antisocial behaviour”.

He said the problem of antisocial behaviour is persistent across all forms of public transport across the State and security must be tightened now, to ensure people can use public transport in the run up to Christmas.

He pointed to Dublin Bus which has fitted its fleet with CCTV and where staff are trained to deal with antisocial behaviour, was also seeing incidents rise “with 514 in 2020, up from 494 in 2019”.

In addition he said, vandalism to 211 Dart carriages had cost more than €500,000 this year alone and members of the National Bus and Rail Drivers Union were considering strike action over antisocial behaviour. “It is clear that action is needed”, he said.

Spokeswoman Dervla Brophy for Transdev said the company did not like to single out individual areas for blame but noted that antisocial behaviour was increasing across all forms of public transport.

She said Transdev works on a daily basis to reduce incidents of antisocial behaviour on the Luas and even goes into schools to educate children to the importance of good behaviour.

“We are proactive in our approach, working with our security teams and An Garda Síochána and with communities, schools and youth groups alongside the Luas network” she said.

Transdev welcomed the Garda Operation Citizen which is aimed at making Dublin a safer city.

The company also welcomed the appointment of a Garda liaison inspector for each Garda division within Dublin as a point of contact for all transport providers.

“Also, as part of the policing plan in each Garda division within the Dublin region, gardaí are assigned to patrol on the Luas during their tours of duty” Ms Brophy said. “In addition to this work we provide CCTV footage to the gardaí to assist them will all of their investigations” she added.

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