Two reports of antisocial behaviour after Dart launches text alert system
Service allows customers to discreetly alert manned security centre through text
The system, which came into effect on Friday, allows rail customers to discreetly alert a manned security centre about any ongoing intimidation, assaults, thefts, or other harassment within carriages on the services. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien
Two reports of antisocial behaviour on board Dart services were received by text over the weekend following the introduction of a new alert service for passengers.
The system, which came into effect on Friday, allows rail customers to discreetly alert a manned security centre about any ongoing intimidation, assaults, thefts, or other harassment within carriages on the services.
A spokeswoman for Irish Rail said the security centre had received two text messages since the introduction of the service - one reporting a person under the influence of alcohol on board a train and a second reporting a drug user. A security team was dispatched to the train in both instances.
The text service is available to passengers during all hours of operation, running from 6am to midnight. Passengers should text the word TRAIN followed by location, carriage number and details of the incident to 51444. Customers then receive an automated response to confirm the message has been received.
In the case of serious alerts, gardaí are also notified after a security team is dispatched to the scene, said the spokeswoman.
The new service is being publicised on displays on Dart carriages and in stations and will be extended to Dublin commuter routes in the coming weeks. The company has also introduced new CCTV on board Dart services and says it is strengthening cooperation with gardaí.
The latest technology has been installed following a sharp rise in antisocial behaviour on rail journeys. Last year, more than 560 passengers made formal complaints about intimidation, vandalism, assault, begging and theft on Irish Rail services while complaints about antisocial behaviour on the Dart almost doubled to 96 from 52 the previous year.