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

A Translink director said the transport provider will seek to prosecute anyone who carries out attacks on employees – and puts others at risk.

It follows a series of incidents in recent months where staff have been physically and verbally attacked and passengers have been intimidated. A recent video shows a train attendant wiping blood from his face after an alleged attack.

Speaking to the BBC, David Cowan, Translink’s director of commercial operations, said: “We strongly condemn any verbal or physical attack on our staff and will seek to prosecute.

“Even though these are isolated cases, they are very traumatic for employees and their families,” he added.

“It affects the entire community. If the service is a risk, it is a risk to someone in your family […] get to the hospital,” he added.

Some of the recent incidents have been publicized on social media and videos have been widely shared on online platforms.

But Mr Cowan said although attacks appear frequently on social media, the “vast majority” of passengers and services have not seen such incidents.

Security is paramount to Translink and that’s why the network is offering a £1,000 reward for evidence of such attacks leading to prosecution, he said. Bodycam and CCTV footage will be used to identify the perpetrators, he added.

Mr Cowan appealed to parents to be aware of the behavior of young people – some of whom have walked on railway tracks in recent months. “The long summer holidays bring problems,” he said.

“It’s up to the wider society to do more. When you take public transport out of a corridor, it really affects people’s lives. That has to be the last thing any of us want to see.”

Recently trains stopped stopping at places like Helen’s Bay in Co Down because of anti-social behaviour. This is the result of a police recommendation, Mr Cowan said. “Then we set up our own security to solve problems like taking alcohol on trains,” he said. Translink director vows those responsible for attacks on staff will be prosecuted

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