Thursday, 3 June 2021
Department of Justice and Equality
An Garda Síochána
I abhor the recent acts of violence and anti-social behaviour, which are completely unacceptable. There are a number of tools at the disposal of the Garda Commissioner, who is operationally responsible, to respond to such incidents. The Commissioner is also responsible, as the Deputy will be aware, for the management and administration of An Garda Síochána, and as Minister I have no role in these independent functions.
An Garda Síochána's mission of 'Keeping People Safe' extends to all areas of our communities, including public transport. Garda management engages extensively with transport operators, including the National Transport Authority, Irish Rail (DART and InterCity rail) and Transdev Ireland (Luas) to provide a high visibility presence through a co-ordinated approach.
I am informed that a range of regional and local operations have been put in place to prevent and detect incidents arising.
For example, Operation Twin Track was a Community Engagement and Rail Safety Policing Initiative conducted by Gardaí in partnership with other public transportation stakeholders with the purpose of providing high visibility policing of rail and light rail transport within the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) and nationwide, and to deliver crime prevention advice.
A multi-agency review was conducted to examine the effectiveness of this operation and it was agreed that An Garda Síochána will continue to proactively engage with public transportation stakeholders and providers to conduct further similar operations.
I have been advised by the Garda authorities that each Chief Superintendent in Dublin has put in place a dedicated policing plan to tackle anti-social behaviour on public transport. Gardaí are conducting both overt and covert patrols of various public transport networks to address incidents of non-compliance under the Health Act 1947 (as amended), incidences of anti-social behaviour or any other criminal offences.
I am advised that An Garda Síochána do not propose to establish a dedicated transport policing unit at this time.