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Unread 16-02-2016, 09:19   #1
James Howard
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Default Irish Rail and anti-social behaviour

So last night there was a fight on the 1905 to Sligo - in the middle of nowhere between Mullingar and Edgeworthstown. It didn't progress beyond roaring and shoving but one of them stormed off muttering about getting a hammer. I think the trolley attendant came close to getting himself a slap for looking at one of the protagonists the wrong way. There were elderly people and children on the train who were quite shaken but nobody got up to do anything about it - there is nothing the driver can do really except ring ahead to get the guards. Using the comms buttons is not really a solution as you have to walk the length of a carriage to get to them and this is likely to make you a victim.

I've rang the anti-social behaviour number before but this is very poorly publicised and as the last time I rang it went to messages, this is a waste of time. Really all I could do was let the station attendant in Edgeworthstown know what was going on and ask him to ring control. He's on his own in the middle of nowhere as well so he can't get involved.

This is an issue that goes beyond Irish Rail and it is tough to see how they can deal with it. All that can be done is to get the guards at a properly staffed station like Longford or Mullingar - anything else will just make the situation worse. Having a ticket attendant or security on board can help as it sends a message that low-level anti-social behaviour won't be tolerated but it's expensive. Another really cheap thing that would help a lot would be to have a text message number and publicise it on the trains that would allow people to discretely alert somebody. This could be monitored by an external security company if necessary.

I'm on a train where there is some sort of anti-social behaviour a couple of times a month - almost always the 1905 to Sligo. This varies from crowds of roaring and shouting undesireables getting pissed out of slabs of beer or 2-litres of cider to people fighting. In fairness, it is usual just the former but should the vast majority of people who just want to travel in peace with their children have to put up with this? Irish Rail seem to just wash their hands of it and I wouldn't be surprised if the trolley disappeared off this service in the near future as the poor person operating it has to put up with a lot of crap.
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Unread 16-02-2016, 11:19   #2
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At some DART and commuter stations I see them being treated every single night like a venue for young people to hang out and have a rave, including someone bringing a huge ghetto blaster, massive amounts of cans and they can party quite freely for many hours, the stations are a complete mess the next morning but nobody really cares, since the stations are the unstaffed ones, so since there is no staff there, as far as Irish rail are concerned, nothing happens.
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Unread 16-02-2016, 12:11   #3
Thomas J Stamp
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combating anti-social behaviour is one of the things we are highlighting with the political parties

http://www.railusers.ie/news/news.ph...2016&no=1.html
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Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 16-02-2016 at 12:37.
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Unread 16-02-2016, 12:53   #4
James Howard
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I saw that. However I don't think the focus on Transport police outside of Greater Dublin (and perhaps Cork commuter) area will be much help for inter-city and outer commuter services. It is certainly a good idea for high-population areas but any realistically-sized force will be spread way too thinly to be able to do much for inter-city services.

Even having a simple phone number (or preferably text / internet) service that you could use to discretely call for help would be a major improvement. It is absolutely unacceptable that the present phone number to call isn't manned for the entire hours of operation.

I never even got a response to the tweet I sent about this. They've got loads to time to be retweeting pretty pictures yet addressing a stand-up row on a train is outside their area of interest. I guess they don't want to be highlighting it.
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Unread 17-02-2016, 10:15   #5
Thomas J Stamp
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the twitter account is very selective.

in relation to rural areas the idea would be that a protocol be established between IE and the Garda Districts. TBH we thought such detail is beyond the basics of a four point plan ( ) and we live in the real world and realise that Garda resources outside the cities are pretty much decimated.

Case in point is that there would be around 21 Garda on duty in the whole of north tipp at any one time. Trains can only stop at stations, and transgressors cannot get off, but what if there is no Garda available till the fourth next station, or not at all till Dublin?
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Unread 17-02-2016, 10:46   #6
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People are only resorting to Twitter because they don't get a response through other channels.

There needs to be a service that ensures an appropriate response at all times services are running, but particularly late at night when people are most likely to be drunk and rowdy. I would like a discrete sticker on every window of trains (and other public transport) with numbers to call or text in the event of antisocial or threatening behaviour, and assurances of a speedy response.

The sticker should include a unique reference for the train coach (or tram/bus) to quote in a call/message, and the operator should be able to identify the route and (hopefully) location, alert the driver, and if necessary arrange for Gardaí to meet the train at the next station.

I realise outside the major cities Garda availability is likely to be a problem.
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Unread 17-02-2016, 12:51   #7
Thomas J Stamp
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as was mentioned earlier there is a hotline (ive looked for it, cant find it)

now, this is quite old but it seems that you may as well be ringing tony fenton on the hotline after 5.30

http://www.tommybroughan.com/disappo...otline-number/

search on IR website = http://www.irishrail.ie/search?searc...cial+behaviour

there is an EMERGENCY number (they don't define emergency)
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Unread 17-02-2016, 13:08   #8
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Well the last time I rang the anti social behaviour number it went to a customer service message. Then I looked at the poster it was on and noticed that it was the same number as the general customer services number.

If something kicks off, you'd probably be best off ringing 999 as they'll have the operators best trained in dealing with somebody in a volatile situation. I honestly don't think Irish Rail are interested in the problem at all. Garda availability isn't that bad on the Sligo line. Maynooth, Mullingar, Longford, Carrick & Boyle all have garda stations that cover the train operating hours (except Boyle at weekends).

The mail I got back from my complaint basically blamed the government for cutting back the funding and making it impossible to man all trains. The dropping of the ticket inspector on intercity trains is such an idiotic thing to do as you can guarantee that about 10% of all passengers don't have a ticket for their entire journey. Bring back the ticket inspector on all trains or at least having a guy randomly on every second train would more than pay for itself.

There were several people on that train on Monday night who will probably never take the train again.
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Unread 17-02-2016, 15:04   #9
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having a random member of the garda is what we initially want within the suburban rail systems, at the moment, the likelihood of meeting one on a train is around 0%

even though a rail employee has the same powers as you or I the very fact that someone in authority or officialdom is on the train is a positive thing from a security and comfort point of view - especially if they are regularly on the same route and would know who has been banned from travel etc.
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Unread 17-02-2016, 18:04   #10
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Prehaps its time to start sending those STT lads on the 19.05 service for a while with the evening return service been moved to 18.30 they should be also to travel far enough where the most issues happen.

Waterford used to be really bad but in fairness to IE they have improved it a lot however it took a lot of work and serious incidents to get them to. Would even say STT could be withdrawn from one or two services now.

Sligo appears to take it up a level so such a fix may not be as easy but having STT onboard with a visable presence will help.

Should add you should write to the station manager in Connolly or Sligo or the district manager. If you contact IE they should give you name/address.

Last edited by Jamie2k9 : 17-02-2016 at 18:10.
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Unread 21-02-2016, 14:30   #11
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19.05, is that people going on stags and hens to Carrick-on-Shannon? A large part of the solution to the problems on the Waterford line was the banning of alcohol. Which might also be part of the reason somewhere else has become the stag/hen capital.

Last edited by Underground : 21-02-2016 at 23:36.
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Unread 21-02-2016, 17:38   #12
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The stags and hens were a problem on a Friday night, but I haven't taken that train in years as it was just not a nice way to travel. But this was on Monday. Banning alcohol is utterly pointless if there is no staff. All that does is affect normal travelers who might want to bring a decent beer onto the train with them to sup on their journey.

The groups of lads with slabs on the table aren't going to be bothered about unenforced rules.
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Unread 19-06-2017, 10:36   #13
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Cork-Cobh got suspended last week because of anti-social behaviour at Fota

http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakin...rk-794008.html

With the numbers involved, I doubt even a nominal security presence could have handled it. When there are hundreds of acres of grounds at Fota House, it seems mad they opted for the railway station.
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