A special Garda response center will be set up in Athlone

A Garda Response Hub will begin operations in Athlone on January 1 to tackle the widespread problem of anti-social behavior on the public transport network.

The creation of the new unit was confirmed by Minister of State for Public Transport and Galway West Fine Gael TD, Hildegarde Naughton, in response to a question written in the Dail earlier this month.

The issue of antisocial behavior was raised by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Fine Gael TD, Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, who expressed particular concerns about the safety of women using the public transport network.

Minister Naughton said the Department of Transport had “engaged regularly” with the National Transport Authority (NTA) and the three CIE companies on the issue of anti-social behavior, and that “a number of initiatives” were underway. courses to ensure the safety and security of the traveling public and their staff.

As of December 13, the minister said four Garda response centers were now operational to support staff on board buses and trains in Mallow, Limerick Junction, Thurles and Portlaoise.

“Additionally, an Athlone Garda response center has been approved and will begin operations on January 1, 2022, with additional response centers in Kildare and Castlerea in Roscommon under negotiation,” Minister Naughton confirmed.

She pointed out that Iarnród Éireann, in collaboration with An Garda Siochána, has been focusing on issues of public order and anti-social behavior since May of this year, and the creation of Garda Response Hubs is an extension of this goal. .

She also added that An Garda Siochana is currently supporting Iarnród Éireann in carrying out ‘on board patrols’ of late night services scheduled on the network during the Christmas period, in addition to the ongoing Garda / Iarnród Éireann. operations, including high visibility patrols of stations where specialized Guard teams, including the Guard Dog Unit, are deployed. An SMS alert service has also been set up to allow customers to discreetly report anti-social behavior on the public transport network.

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