Violence on Amsterdam public transport jumps by a quarter

15-year-old robs Amsterdam bus driver with shotgun, 13 January 2016 (Photo: Politie)15-year-old robs Amsterdam bus driver with shotgun, 13 January 2016 (Photo: Politie)

The number of “serious incidents” on Amsterdam’s public transit system rose by nearly 24 percent in 2015 to 333. This was up from 269 a year earlier.

Six different incidents involved staff being threatened with a weapon, and 43 times a threat was made without one. That’s up from three armed incidents in 2014, and a 53 percent increase in unarmed threats.

A serious incident is defined as making violent threats, assault and robbery, the transit operator, GVB, said in a statement. Recent robberies on the Amsterdam Noord buses prompted a brief transit strike, and a pledge from the city to end cash collection on buses by the end of the year.

Vandalism and graffiti was also up 15 percent to 167. However, verbal abuse and disruptive behavior caused by payment issues fell by two percent to 1,499.

The GVB pointed out that there was a rise in passengers of over six percent, but the increase in total incidents was tallied at 1.7 percent. Only the subway saw a decline in problems. The volume of incidents increased on both the bus and tram networks.