Rising levels of vandalism in the Netherlands leads to plea for return of railway police

ProRail CEO Pier Eringa. Photo: ProRail.
ProRail CEO Pier Eringa. Photo: ProRail.

Dutch infrastructure manager ProRail has called for the reintroduction of the railway police to stem rising levels of vandalism.

CEO Pier Eringa said that ProRail employs around 150 special officers and has installed cameras to monitor hotspots on its 7,000km network but that it remains a big problem.

In 2016, there were 608 delays as a result of vandalism on the track. In 2017 that figure was 648, including incidents of shopping carts, traffic signs, lampposts and even a surfboard being thrown on the track.

Like this story? Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date on rail industry news

ProRail has released the above footage showing vandals on a level-crossing

Pier added (Translated from Dutch): “Despite all our measures, we see that vandalism is still a big problem on the track and that I am worried.

“Reintroduction of the railway police could help to track down perpetrators more quickly and tackle vandals, for example, we have to deal with vandalism and rowdy behaviour, and it also contributes to improving social safety in the train and on the stations.

“The railway police can specifically focus on the approach on the track.”

The dedicated railway police force was abolished in the Netherlands in 2013.

Read more: ProRail calls on YouTube to remove train surfing videos quicker