Dedicated summer patrols tackling rail disorder in Inverclyde

Thursday, 6 July 2017
  • 30 youths turned away from Branchton station on 30 June

  • Railway teams working with partners to cut fare evasion

As school summer holidays begin, the ScotRail Alliance has been working with Police Scotland, the British Transport Police and Inverclyde Council to tackle youth disorder around stations and on trains on the Wemyss Bay line.

Dedicated police patrols to break up gatherings of young people before they try to board trains have been underway over the past two weekends and will continue in July. In parallel with these patrols, ScotRail Alliance teams at Branchton, Whinhill and Drumfrochar stations have been preventing anyone without tickets from travelling.

On 30 June, more than 30 youths were turned away at Branchton Station and a further 20 were reported to have moved on from Drumfrochar Station because of the enhanced police presence.

The ScotRail Alliance’s Safety & Sustainability Director David Lister said: “We expect all of our customers and staff to be able to access our services safely and without being pestered by antisocial behaviour around stations or on trains.

“I fully support this partnership working and confirm it will continue through the summer holiday period. We are all working hard to deliver the best railway Scotland’s ever had and stamping down on this antisocial behaviour is an important part of that endeavour.”

Inspector Brian McAleese from British Transport Police said: “It is encouraging to see that in recent weeks, antisocial behaviour on trains and at stations in the Inverclyde area has reduced. However, we understand there is concern in the community and we remain determined to ensure the railway continues to be a safe and pleasant environment for passengers.

“Our priority will remain fixed on tackling these concerns head on and we have firm plans in place alongside the ScotRail Alliance and Police Scotland to ensure highly visible deployments continue.”

Police Scotland’s Sergeant Laura Stewart stressed that the vast majority of young people in Inverclyde are decent and well behaved and never come to police attention.

“Unfortunately over the last few months, large groups of youths are gathering in certain areas across Inverclyde with many of them using the railway as a means of getting about,” she said.

“The safety of young people, together with the prevention of antisocial behaviour which the minority seem intent on causing, is a priority for Police Scotland.”

Notes

  • From 1 April 2016 - 31 March 2017 the ScotRail Alliance undertook 164 train sweeps around Inverclyde (the main aim of these exercises is to address fraud and assist on-train staff with ticket irregularities and antisocial behaviour).
  • We deploy CCTV at all stations and on trains.
  • We have also deployed manual ticket barriers at some stations on the route with repeat activity at Greenock Central & West to tackle ticketless travel and enforce Buy Before You Board activity.
  • Prior to these summer patrols, a Friday evening exercise with BTP, Police Scotland and community wardens at Whinhill and Drumfrochar, was undertaken in January 2017. Some people with no means to pay were prevented from travelling.
  • We have regular meetings with senior BTP officers and attend planning meetings with Police Scotland and Inverclyde Council at Greenock Police Station.