Home » Kicked, bitten and stabbed: violence against railway employees is also increasing in our northern neighbors

Kicked, bitten and stabbed: violence against railway employees is also increasing in our northern neighbors

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© ANP/HH

The number of NS employees who became victims of violence increased again last year. According to the Dutch Railways, an aggressive trend has started since the corona crisis and is still continuing. Last year, the most serious violent incidents increased from 965 to 1,042, an increase of eight percent compared to 2022.

The NS says it has to take more and more measures to combat the aggression. Last year, the NS had to ask the police for help more than 13,000 times.

The figure of 1042 is only a fraction of all incidents that take place at stations and on trains. A spokesperson for the NS explains that only so-called ‘A incidents’ are registered. “As a rule, this concerns criminal offenses and not about being loud, which is of course unfortunately the order of the day.”

The registered crimes against NS personnel range from serious forms of verbal aggression to physical violence that even results in injuries. The consequences for victims among NS personnel can be very serious.

‘Asylum problems and confused people’

According to the NS, people without a ticket in particular cause problems for staff: “We see that problems in society also influence behavior at stations and on trains. Take the asylum seeker problem, the increase in confused people and the hardening in society. The trend of more aggression and intolerance since corona is reflected in our figures.”

Conductor stabbed with screwdriver

One of the many poignant examples of aggression against NS personnel took place last year at Schagen station. A conductor was attacked by two men on the train. The suspects in this case will appear in court in Alkmaar on Thursday. They are suspected of kicking, punching, kicking and biting the conductor during the ticket check. He was also stabbed with a screwdriver. The man is still recovering from the physical and psychological damage he suffered during the very serious assault.

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Eelco van Asch, Director of Operations and member of the NS Board of Directors, does not hide his anger: “It is shocking and unacceptable. The fact that these two men are now on trial is a small boost, but it does not diminish the impact on my colleagues. Our concern is for the recovery of the colleague involved. The perpetrators can expect a claim for damages and a public transport ban, they are no longer welcome on our trains.”

(Robert Vinkenborg)

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