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Translink director vows those responsible for attacks on staff will be prosecuted


Stock image of a Translink train

Stock image of a Translink train

Stock image of a Translink train

A Translink director has said the transport provider will seek to prosecute anyone who carries out attacks on staff – and is putting others at risk.

It follows a spate of incidents in recent months which have seen staff physically and verbally assaulted and passengers intimidated. A recent video shows a train conductor wiping blood from his face after an alleged assault. 

Speaking to the BBC, Director of Commercial Operations for Translink David Cowan said: "We totally condemn any verbal or physical attack on our staff and we will seek to prosecute.

"Even though these are isolated incidents, they're very traumatic for staff and their families," he added.

"It affects the whole community. If there’s a risk to the service, it’s a risk for someone in your family [...] getting to hospital,” he added.

Some recent incidents have been publicised on social media, with videos being widely shared on online platforms.

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But Mr Cowan said although attacks may seem frequent on social media, the "vast majority" of passengers and services haven't seen any such incidents.

Safety is paramount for Translink and for that reason, the network offers a £1,000 reward for evidence on such attacks which leads to prosecution, he said. Bodycam and CCTV footage will be used in an effort to identify perpetrators, he added.

Mr Cowan appealed to parents to be aware of the behaviour of young people - some of whom have trespassed on railway tracks in recent months. "The long summer holiday brings issues," he said.

"It behoves wider society to do more. You take public transport off a corridor, it really impacts people's lives. That has to be the last thing any of us want to see."

Recently, trains did not stop at locations such as Helen's Bay in Co Down because of antisocial behaviour. This was a result of police advice, Mr Cowan said. "We then put in place our own security to deal with issues like people taking alcohol onto trains," he said.

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