In 2021, graffiti damaged more than half a million dollars worth of Dublin Area Rapid Transit carriages.
According to the Irish Times, some 211 vehicles have been defaced across Dublin in 55 separate incidents since January.
Vandals have caused more than $500,000.00 worth of damage to over 200 DART carriages since the start of the year, prompting Irish Rail and the Garda to step up policing on the service in recent weeks.
According to Irish Rail, 211 DART train cars were defaced between January and November 2021 in 55 separate graffiti incidents, resulting in cleaning and repair costs of OVER $560,000.00
Irish Rail spokesman Barry Kenny said that Garda* in Dublin and Irish Rail have teamed up to target graffiti vandals damaging carriages with graffiti.
According to him, as part of this operation, “garda have been patrolling rail lines over the past weeks and will continue to do so to target groups involved in this activity.”
He said one conviction was obtained in the Dublin District Court after several arrests had been made.
He spoke after Fine Gael Minister Alan Farrell called for creating a dedicated unit within the Garda to deal with rising incidents of anti-social behavior and vandalism on buses, trains, darts, and Luas.
Along with the vandalism, TD for Dublin Fingal noted that passengers sent 71 texts to Irish Rail’s text alert system, 50 of them from DART users and 21 of them from commuters, from January to September.
There were 22 reports of youths causing problems, 27 about drinking, smoking, and drugs on trains, nine about harassment, five about aggressive behavior and verbal abuse—other cases related to attempted theft, vandalism, and social distancing, and mask-wearing concerns.
According to Mr. Farrell, Bus Éireann has recorded a year-on-year increase of 86 percent in malicious damage incidents, with 80 in the first nine months of the year, compared to 40 in the same period in 2020.
“As a regular DART rider, I have witnessed this anti-social behavior, including young male DART users making threatening comments of a sexual nature towards a female passenger which simply cannot be tolerated,” he said, adding that “high visibility policing on our public transport will send a clear and unequivocal message, that anti-social behavior will not be tolerated, and perpetrators will face the consequences for their actions.”
There should be a dedicated unit to police public transport, including at stations and stops… “Having Garda* on our trains and buses will not only be a peace of mind for our staff, but it will also deter anti-social behavior and abuse,” he concluded.
Mr. Kenny also pointed to “an ongoing program of joint preventative patrols” with Garda onboard services and said Irish Rail had “up to 20 of our security teams patrolling every day.” We will continue to work with gardaí to coordinate operations and reduce incidents of anti-social behavior.”