Seven arrests by PSNI public transport team
A dedicated police team for public transport made seven arrests in their first three months.
The PSNI launched the Safe Transport Team in September, which attended 31 calls for service within bus and train stations.
The team has made seven arrests and reported 10 people to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) for a range of alleged offences.
These include possession of class A, class B and class C drugs, disorderly behaviour, attempted criminal damage and assault on police.
Officers have also handed out five community resolution notices and five fixed penalty notices for motoring offences.
The Safe Transport Team, which works alongside Translink staff, consists of one sergeant, five constables and passive drugs dog PD Acer.
Inspector Keith McBrien said while the sight of Acer often delights commuters, he is highly trained to “sniff out danger”.
He described the six-month pilot as aimed at tackling crime and anti-social behaviour at public transport hubs and onboard trains and buses.
“It provides a visible reassuring presence for members of the public to help keep everyone safe and give commuters additional confidence and peace of mind when using these services,” he said.
“We are now half way through this pilot and so far have carried out patrols and completed operations at train and bus stations across Northern Ireland and on the Glider service tackling anti-social behaviour issues raised by Translink, working proactively with the Neighbourhood Policing Team and local community representatives in relation to this issue.
“We have also travelled the length of the rail network including the cross border Enterprise to Dublin as far as Newry and visited every station and unmanned halt along the network engaging with the travelling public.”
Translink’s head of rail customer services, Hilton Parr, said passengers have welcomed the initiative.
“The safety of our passengers and staff is our top priority and we are pleased to be working with the Safe Transport Team trialling this initiative at our bus and train stations and on board services,” he said. “This innovative pilot scheme makes Public Transport even safer for our customers and ensures everyone gets home safely.
“Passengers have welcomed the initiative which makes them feel secure on their journey.”
Inspector McBrien said passengers can play an important role by reporting anything that “doesn’t feel right”.
“We will continue to travel on the trains and buses ready to listen and act so please come over and speak with us if you have any concerns,” he said.
You can also report a crime via the non-emergency number 101 or submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/.
In an emergency always dial 999.