Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Dublin, John Lahart TD has said the persistence of anti-social behaviour and incidents of criminality on public transport services across Dublin must be urgently dealt with by establishing a Transport Police Unit.

The National Rail and Bus Union have launched a campaign this morning to highlight the need for a Garda Public Transport Police Unit to curb the alarming increase in anti-social behaviour and assaults on drivers.

The Dublin South West TD said, “Incidents of dangerous unruly behaviour have become far too commonplace on public transport services in Dublin. They’re now occurring on a daily basis and have become more extreme in nature.

“The Minister for Transport, Shane Ross has previously responded to my concerns on the matter by offloading all responsibility onIarnród Éireann, Transdev, and Dublin Bus despite all operators making substantial efforts to curb anti-social behaviour on their services.

“The Minister must recognise that increasing security patrols on services can only assist with controlling the problems. Private security firms do not have the necessary authority or powers to tackle these on-going issues.

“The safety and security of passengers and staff must be paramount and it’s clear that to achieve that requires more comprehensive laws.

“Fianna Fáil has been pushing for the establishment of a dedicated unit of transport police in Dublin for years in order to properly enforce laws across public transport services in Dublin.

“The Oireachtas Transport Committee needs to urgently invite all key stakeholders before the committee to get a handle on the true scale of this issue. It’s crucial that we hear from each of the transport providers, senior Gardaí based in the Capital and Union representatives in order for legislative action to be taken.

He concluded, “These anti-social issues are not going away, in fact they’re getting more wide spread and even higher risk. The Minister needs to acknowledge and properly address the challenges before something terribly extreme happens.”