Garda patrols increased after vandalism and violence on Luas
VIOLENCE and vandalism at the Luas Red Line in West Tallaght has led to increased security on trams and near stops.
The Echo understands gardai are engaged in plain clothes operations, have identified individuals involved, and an arrest is imminent for one of the ringleaders.
In recent months, Luas stops at the Fettercairn, Cheeverstown and Fortunestown Luas stops, have been vandalised, including damage to shelters, screens and ticket machines.
Some of the screens have been replaced but were then vandalised again.
Last week, a resident sent The Echo images of vandalism to machines at the Citywest Luas stop.
Cllr Emma Murphy (FF), said it was a “significant problem in West Tallaght” in recent months.
She believes ease of access is a factor, as youths can hop on and off between Luas stops, without paying for tickets.
“Drug use, assaults, vandalism, intimidation, you name it, it has been more prominent during Covid,” said Cllr Murphy.
On Friday (January 28), the Dublin Bus/Luas Community Forum met to discuss issues affecting local transport networks.
Speaking at the JPC Policing Meeting on Friday, Superintendent Ian Lackey, Tallaght Garda station, said: “There is a meeting ongoing downstairs here at present in relation to the transport providers.
“From last weekend on, we have put in dedicated additional high-visibility patrols on the Luas and on the bus.
“As a result of those patrols, one of those people responsible for a lot of the vandalism has been identified.
“He is due to be arrested in the coming days in relation to that.”
Cllr Murphy, outgoing Chair of the JPC, said: “I’m glad to see gardai stepping up their involvement.
“I know the Luas have their own security but it can’t just be left to private security, this is putting commuters and staff at risk.
“It is a huge problem for drivers. They are not equipped to deal with this, and they shouldn’t have to.
“If a driver has to call security to deal with a problem, this brings that tram to a halt and leads to delays for other services on the line.
“This then affects the wider community,” said Cllr Murphy.
“Luas have been proactive in trying to assist the community, and they set up a security text service for commuters.
“Dublin Bus, Luas and gardai have increased their CCTV but the incidents are very worrying.”
Luas set up a security text service a few months ago to target antisocial behaviour and stop “intimidating” behaviour on the trams.
Commuters are urged to text the keyword ‘LUAS’ followed by the tram number where applicable and / or the location where the incident is taking place to 51444.
The Echo contacted Transdev Ireland, who operate Luas, they did not reply at time of going to print.