05 June 2008
A crackdown on alcohol fuelled anti social behaviour at stations is being introduced in the Rhymney Valley.
Arriva Trains Wales, British Transport Police, Gwent Police and the Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership have joined forces in an initiative aimed at raising awareness of the current railway bye-laws. A similar scheme was launched in the Rhondda Valley in December 2007.
The partnership is using the bye laws in a bid to discourage the culture of loitering and drinking at stations, which often leads to more serious crime being committed against passengers, staff and railway property.
Railway bye-laws state that it is an offence for "any person travelling on certain services to be in possession of intoxicating liquor or to attempt to enter any of the above trains with intoxicating liquor". It also states that "no person shall enter on the railway where such person is unfit to enter or remain on the railway as a result of being in a state of intoxication".
The initiative will run for a trial period of six months and target hot spot stations known for anti social behaviour. New signage is being introduced to highlight the bye-laws, which will prohibit the consumption of alcohol on any station or train between Caerphilly and Rhymney.
In January 2008, a service with more than 60 passengers on-board was involved in an incident at Llanbradach, which partially de-railed the train.
Ian Bullock, customer services director for Arriva Trains Wales, said: "While under the influence, individuals who take part in this activity are putting themselves in danger, creating an intimidating environment for passengers and staff, and harming the environment."
a safer environment for the travelling public. We recognise that this will be a long term process. However, this operation demonstrates our commitment to work with partners for the benefit of the communities we serve."
Since January 2008, a total of 125 offences have been dealt with by the British Transport Police (BTP) Neighbourhood Policing Team who patrol the Rhymney Valley.
Speaking on behalf of the BTP Neighbourhood Policing Team, Inspector Michael Edwards said: "The message is clear: we will not tolerate drink-related anti-social behaviour or any other crime on the rail network. Operation "Redskin" is about getting tough with those few irresponsible individuals who create an unwelcoming environment at stations and affect the quality of life for residents in neighbouring properties."
He continued: "There is a clear link between alcohol and more serious incidents. We would ask parents and retailers to work with us to ensure youngsters are aware of the consequences of their actions. Stations will be proactively policed to discourage this activity and the law will be enforced when required."
The partnership will also be engaging with young people through school visits to help raise awareness of the dangers involved in drinking alcohol on stations.
Chief Superintendant Alun Thomas, Chair of the Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership said, "This truly is partnership working at it's best. By working together and pooling our resources and knowledge, we are sending out a unified message to the very small minority who wish to behave anti socially in and around our railways that it will not be tolerated."
He continued "Our local residents, as well as the large numbers of commuters to the area, deserve to feel safe going about their daily lives, and it is hoped that this initiative will go a long way to ensuring that this is the case."
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