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Crackdown pays off... but racist abuse increases

A BLITZ on Dublin's two Luas lines netted 91 invalid free travel passes.

Inspectors seized the travel passes, issued by the Department of Social Protection, and returned them.

The Tram Watch initiative has slashed the number of public disorder incidents on the Luas Red and Green lines -- but racist abuse of staff is up, new figures show.

Tram Watch, a new approach launched earlier this year, involves Luas operator Veolia, Luas STT security officers, the Department of Social Protection and the gardai.

"There has also been a marked decline in the numbers of people loitering at the stops and in people people begging by ticket vending machines," a Veolia spokeswoman said.

Veolia said that most of the threats to staff and public is verbal abuse.

In the case of Veolia staff, 96pc of this is racist.