Dozens banned from public transit for aggressive behavior

Train platform at Utrecht Central Station (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Sebastiaan ter Burg)Train platform at Utrecht Central Station (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Sebastiaan ter Burg)

About 100 people were given a public transport ban last year for being violent, aggressive or traveling without a ticket multiple times. A public transit ban is issued in cooperation with the police and Public Prosecutor. It bans the recipient from trains, subways, trams and buses for a limited period of a few weeks, Dutch newspaper AD reports.

Arriva issued the most bans, with 50 people banned since March last year. Dutch railway operator NS banned 32, mostly "notorious freeloaders and well-known nuisance causers", according to a spokesperson. Rotterdam transporter RET issued 14 public transit bans.

In 2015 NS had 642 incidents of aggression, physical violence or threats against its personnel, compared to 774 incidents in 2014. It is not yet clear weather the decrease is the direct result of the additional measures. RET also saw a decline of serious incidents since 2008, and attributes it to the introduction of the public transit ban.

The Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, is debating violence against railway staff on Thursday. A number of parties are demanding an even harsher approach. PVV MP Barry Madlener wants the public transit ban to always be imposed. The SP wants railway workers to be equipped with body-cams.