Dutch union wants more train policing

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A 30 percent increase in the reported number of incidents on Dutch trains has prompted the FNV trade union to demand heavier policing.

The country's biggest union says an additional 250 railway policemen should be hired to assist train guards faced with aggressive ticketless travellers. Dutch Railways told daily that there is no increase in violent incidents as such, but the numbers have gone up because train staff appears more willing to report such cases.

Dutch Railways security co-ordinator Frank Reitsma told the paper "the threshold for raising the alarm has gone down since 2008 when we set up a security alert room and quick-response incident teams".

In March 2010 train guards summoned the police in no less than 2000 cases, 500 more than the monthly average of the previous year, according to de Telegraaf. The incidents do not only involve people travelling without a ticket 40 percent of cases, passengers also assault train personnel when their behaviour is criticised or when they are drunk or under the influence of drugs.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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