Luas company wants new group to tackle anti-social behaviour

Transdev says drunkenness, fighting and drug-taking remain problems on trams

Transdev wants a special group to be set up to  tackle anti-social behaviour on Luas trams. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Transdev wants a special group to be set up to tackle anti-social behaviour on Luas trams. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

Transdev, the company running the Luas, wants a special group to be set up to help tackle anti-social behaviour on trams.

Anti-social behaviour remains a serious problem on the Luas, gardaí and members of Dublin City Council were told at a policing committee meeting.

Transdev performance director Carl Phillips said serious crime on the Luas isn’t an issue but drunkenness, fighting, drug-taking and other anti-social behaviour is a persistent problem.

Mr Phillips said the issue is most pronounced on the Red Line running from Tallaght to the Point, with the most problematic area being in the city centre between Heuston station and Busáras.

He said Transdev was “trying to look for support to bring together a joint transport working group to help tackle some of the anti-social behaviour issues”.

The proposed group would involve transport bodies as well as addiction support groups and An Garda Síochána.

“We work with the likes of Merchant’s Quay, we work with the likes of the Ana Liffey Drug Project, we want to develop that and look at it from a collaborative approach,” said Transdev security and revenue protection manager Paddy Devereux.

He said that the security guards who work on the Luas system lack the authority to properly deal with individuals causing disruption.

“They’ve only got civil powers,” he said. “They can kick people off trams but they can’t do anything with them once they’re off the tram, so they haven’t really got that much power.”

Aggressive begging

Labour Party councillor Dermot Lacey said begging at stops can be intimidating for passengers.

Mr Devereux said dealing with aggressive begging is a “cat and mouse” game.

“We can send staff down there and the staff will ask people to move but if we go they come back and we could literally spend our whole day doing that.”

Chief superintendent Francis Clerkin, from Pearse Street Garda station, said that gardaí worked closely with security companies servicing the Luas.

“We do have a lot of cooperation with the security companies involved with the Luas and that works quite well,” he said.

“There’s certainly challenging behaviour but it’s not to the stage here that the general public cannot use those services.”