Giving NS staffers weapons a "last step," says Infrastructure Sec.
According to State Secretary Wilma Mansveld, arming NS security guards with pepper spray and batons is a "difficult step". Union FNV Spoor has been advocating arming NS security guards as a result of the recent series of violent attacks against conductors.
Mansveld thinks that arming the guards is a big step to take and can possibly evoke aggression, NU reports She wants to leave it up to the police. The Ministry of Security and Justice will therefore join the consultation between the Ministry of Infrastructure, NS, rail manager ProRail and the unions today. On Sunday the Ministry of Security and Justice already announced that they are reluctant to equip security guards with weapons as the monopoly on violence lies with the army and police.
Mansveld pointed out that all parties have taken the "first steps" to counter the aggression in public transport. Measures include a station agent at the 20 largest stations in the country, turn stiles closing more quickly and more surveillance. According to Mansveld, introducing measures takes time. "In November we will see where we are." she said.
Rotterdam conductors have decided to take matters into their own hands with the "customer-friendly" action of not checking tickets. They have called on their colleagues in the rest of the country to do the same. The unions do not support this action.