Dutch rail company NS is starting a live streaming surveillance pilot on a number of routes where there is often trouble, broadcaster NOS reports.
NS already has cameras in place but the footage is only used for identification purposes after an incident has been reported.
The pilot, which will be carried out on a small number of routes, was prompted by reports of a flasher harassing people on services to Hoorn but other incidents also played a role in the decision to increase security on trains.
A call to young people by the broadcaster to share experiences with sex pests on train resulted in 650 responses. ‘The compartment was empty but he sat down beside me’, one youngster wrote. ‘He came on her leg’ said another.
Most of the respondents said they frequently felt unsafe on trains, particularly at night. The NS should be more active in combating sex pests and complaints are not always followed up properly, they said.
Nadia (24) who encountered the Hoorn sex pest used the NS app to report the incident but when she said she had lost sight of him she was told that nothing could be done.
‘Screaming, running or freezing, one of those is your likely first reaction. Sending a whatapp isn’t,’ she said.
Another girl said the NS took too long to react when she reported a man who kept taking photographs of her.
The NS has a number of safety measures in place apart from the cameras. They include the Whatsapp emergency number (06 13181318) and some 700 security staff and service staff.
‘We have to do better,’ services vice president Eelco van Asch told the broadcaster. ‘But logistics play a role in a train that is 300 metres long and then it can take too long before help arrives. In urgent situations we need to act more quickly.’
Van Asch hopes the pilot will be a valuable addition to the safety measures. ‘We see you, we catch you and we make sure you’ll never board a train again,’ he said.
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