Train staff will not get pepper spray, nightsticks despite recent assaults
The NS staff will not be armed armed with pepper spray and batons. Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice announced this decision in a letter to the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, on Wednesday, NRC reports.
A majority in the Tweede Kamer was in favor of investigating the possibilities of arming the NS staff in an effort to reduce the number of violent incidents against them. But after consultations between the Ministry of Security and Justice, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, NS and unions, the Cabinet decided against it.
The cabinet concluded that arming the NS staff would increase the risk of violent situations escalating. NS and the unions previously insisted on the staff being armed, but have conceded that it is not a practical idea at this time.
Early in April FNV Spoor insisted that the employees of NS Safety and Service be armed to expand their capabilities in dealing with violent incidents. The Ministry of Security and Justice agreed to discuss the possibilities. State Secretary Wilma Mansveld of Infrastructure spoke of a "difficult decision" and said that it should be the "last step".