NMBS has decided to deploy fifty additional Securil security agents to counter the growing aggression against railroad employees. This is also good news for the Securil team in Limburg and Flemish Brabant. The Socialist Workers’ Union says that thanks to the extra security officers, staffing shortages there are being made up and Limburg security agents no longer have to meddle in Flemish Brabant.
“This allows the Limburg teams to have a more visible presence in and around Limburg stations and to carry out more checks on trains in our region,” says Stefan T’Jolyn of ACOD Spoor Limburg. “This is definitely a first step in the right direction to better ensure the safety of passengers and railway staff.”
Nearly 2,000 cases of physical and verbal abuse
After the recent attack on the De Lijn driver at Genk station and increased aggression in and around the stations, ACOD Limburg initiated an alert procedure with a strike notice. In 2022, there will be nearly 2,000 cases of physical and verbal abuse of railway employees. “The problem in Limburg is that there are usually twelve people from Securil in Leuven. But of these twelve, only seven are currently at the station, and here in Limburg we also only have seven, who often have to go to Flemish Brabant. It will come because This is where most of the lines meet and where there are the most risks,” T. Jolin explains. Now the team in Flemish Brabant is expanded to sixteen security officers and the Limburg team to ten. “This is very positive because then our people can be visibly present at the stations and do what they have to do on the trains.”
No unnecessary luxury
This is not a superfluous luxury, especially after the transfer of the Federal Railways Police from Limburg to Antwerp. Verbal aggression also seems to be increasing in Limburg. “Being at the station may not solve this aggression, but the traveler and staff will feel safe. It doesn’t give a good feeling when you enter an empty station like Genk. If they want to get more people on the train, they need to feel good and deal with this.” .
The syndicalist also hopes to reintroduce inspection teams, as in De Lijn. These teams were canceled due to staffing shortages. “Those teams, of two, did an extra check, where they were clearly present and had to spot the fare evaders. Most of the aggression occurs because people are not okay with their transport ticket. If those teams were to come back, it would still be a step in the right direction.”
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