Litany of incidents plague the Luas
CCTV: Boosts battle
THREE Luas staff were assaulted and there were 74 incidents of verbal abuse over a seven- month period, new figures have revealed.
But despite the incidents the statistics show that such incidents have decreased on the tram service since front line security staff were brought in.
The assaults and verbal abuse incidents were recorded between May and December last year, a period in which 27 separate threats to the public occurred on the trams.
The figures show that the Luas Green Line, from St Stephen's Green to Sandyford, is safer than the Red Line, from the Docklands to Tallaght.
Each week there have been between five and 10 incidents of pickpocketing reported on the Red Line.
While begging was a problem at the St Stephen's Green terminus of the Green line to Sandyford, there was less criminal activity on this line.
There was also a special garda initiative on Red Line trams from July end to September, involving plain clothes gardai and uniformed gardai on the trams from early evening to the last tram.
"On the Green Line there are gardai from Dundrum and Terenure regularly on the tram at night time and on the Red line there is a similar practice involving a number of stations," Luas spokeswoman Dervla Brophy said. "There are monthly meetings with all garda stations that cross the Luas lines and the cameras in the Garda Traffic Department are connected to the Luas control room CCTV cameras."
She added that there has been a fall in the number of anti-social behaviour incidents since security was introduced on both lines seven nights a week. The introduction of CCTV cameras have also contributed to a reduction in incidents of anti-social behaviour.
The full week's security measures on the Red Line was introduced in June 2009 and on the Green line in December.
"Whilst anti-social behaviour is a problem for Dublin in general the number of incidents on the Luas is decreasing," Ms Brophy said. "That can be attributed to a number of different reasons, and extra security is certainly one of them."
In 2009 staff were trained in conflict avoidance resulting in a further reduction of incidents of anti social behaviour.
"The safety of Luas passengers and staff is the number one priority of Veolia Transport and we will continue to work daily with our security and the gardai," Ms Brophy said.