Deputy Tommy Broughan has consistently been asking about increased security measures at DART stations and on trains, following many emails, visits and calls from concerned commuters about anti-social and criminal behaviour. Most recently, Deputy Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, about Irish Rail’s plans to introduce a confidential text message scheme for members of the public to report anti-social behaviour.
The reply from Irish Rail to Deputy Broughan, dated the 15th of May 2019, states that it “plans in the coming weeks to introduce a new text alert service to enable customers to discretely report anti-social behaviour incidents” to a live-monitored centre, which “will allow for security personnel and/or Gardaí to be alerted and dispatched as required to any incident.” Irish Rail also said that the service “will be publicised extensively to customers.”
Further information about security in the PQ reply said that there is now increased security personnel and that patrol levels have doubled in the past 18-24 months “and resources will continue to be reviewed and enhanced as necessary.” 128 of the 144 DART carriages are now equipped with CCTV. Irish Rail reply states that “a central monitoring facility for CCTV has been established across the DART network, allowing live monitoring of stations to enable coordinated response within available security resources.” The other 16 carriages are to be fitted with CCTV “in the coming weeks, and will also enable remote downloading of CCTV to provide to Gardaí and security personnel.” There are in-cab screens in around 50% of the DART fleet “which ensure a driver can bring a train to a halt and view the live feed from CCTV” and this is to be installed in the remainder of the carriages “over the coming months.”
Mr. Meade, Chief Executive, says that Irish Rail have doubled the number of mobile and static security at stations over the past two years. Deputy Broughan says “I welcome the reply I received from Jim Meade, Chief Executive of Iarnród Éireann, about the improved security measures that are being taken to ensure the security of passengers of Irish Rail. There have been a number of unacceptable incidents of anti-social or dangerous behaviour over recent years and it is good to see a transport provider take steps to address the matter directly. Of course, we shouldn’t have to have increased security on trains or at stations but unfortunately an increase in anti-social behaviour has led to this need. I commend Irish Rail for taking action and will be liaising with constituents and commuters to ensure that the difference is being felt on the ground by those using the services.”