Woman sexually assaulted in Amsterdam-Alkmaar train
On Monday, a man sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman for about 40 minutes on a train from Amsterdam to Alkmaar. She only managed to get away and ask for help once the train stopped in Alkmaar. The police are looking for the perpetrator.
After the woman got on the train, the man immediately sat down next to her in the otherwise empty train compartment. He groped her for the entire 40-minute ride, according to Het Parool. No one came through the compartment, and the woman couldn't sound the alarm. Once the train stopped, she managed to get away and went to the NS Security Service, who called the police.
The perpetrator is a light-skinned man of about 40. He is 1.7 meters tall, balding, with short blond hair and a tattoo on his face, the police said. The police had already received about a dozen tips by Wednesday, but the man is still at large, a police spokesperson said to ANP.
The Maatschappij Voor Beter OV, an interest group that advocates for safer public transit, wonders why there was no conductor on the train. "The conductor has a critical task in guaranteeing social safety in the train," chairman Rikus Spithorst said to Het Parool. "It is essential that they pass through the train regularly, and not just for checking tickets."
In a response, NS told Parool that, in principle, there is a conductor on every train. Long trains and evening trains usually have two conductors. "We don't know why there was apparently no conductor here. Perhaps the conductor had just arrived or was helping travelers elsewhere on the train. However, we do not want to speculate."
Like many other companies in the Netherlands, NS is struggling with staff shortages. The rail company recently announced changes to its timetables, including shorter trains on some routes, requiring fewer conductors.