Police and cameras make public transport safer

Police and cameras make public transport safer
Photo: DPA
The amount of violence on Berlin's public transport in 2012 may have dropped by nearly a fifth from the year previously, but experts called on Friday for even better staffing of vehicles and stations.

There were 3,183 violent crimes on the capital’s public transport in 2012, according to figures released by transit operator BVG. This was down from 3,897 the year before,Der Tagesspiegel regional daily said.

Classed as violent crime by the BVG are bodily harm, mugging, assault and sexual assault. The figures include busses, U-Bahn trains, trams and train stations. The city’s suburban S-Bahn train network was not included.

Berlin’s state Interior Minister Frank Henkel put the drop down to the increased number of CCTV cameras, as well as an increased police presence on public transport.

Each of the city’s 1,238 U-Bahn trains, half of all trams and over 80 percent of busses have a security camera yet the number of attacks remained too high, Henkel told the paper.

He said he received the news with “mixed feelings” and that the level of brutality some experienced while travelling was something the city had to work on.

Head of the city’s IGEB passenger rights organisation, Jens Wieseke, warned that the positive development should not be exaggerated and that while cameras were important they should not be viewed as a replacement for actual security staff.

Instead of the city installing more cameras, they should invest in hiring more staff to man stations – especially after dark – and implement a better information system, he said.

The Local/jcw

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