Personal safety

A lot was done in 2016 to increase the safety of passengers and staff. Unfortunately incidents do take place, and each and every incident is one too many. Together with all the public transport parties and the ministries of Infrastructure and the Environment and Security and Justice, we worked on an integral and nationwide action programme with the clear objective of making public transport in the Netherlands even safer. Through this programme, NS is expanding its approach – that started in 2015 – to reducing the numbers of incidents yet further. Following these efforts in 2015, the following measures were implemented in 2016:

  • Night-time services and Early Bird trains are double staffed. Trains after 22:00 on Thursdays to Saturdays will follow.

  • Permanent cameras were put in place in 30 stations, in addition to the 48 large stations that already had them.

  • Passengers see on monitors that they are being filmed as they enter. The increased awareness of CCTV monitoring has not yet led to a decrease in the number of incidents, nor do passengers feel safer yet.

  • A trial with bodycams on the clothing of security staff and Safety & Service staff showed that CCTV monitoring has a positive influence on the perception of personal safety.

  • After an agreement was made in 2016, access gates were put into use at 15 stations around 8 weeks earlier than planned. At the moment, 68 of the 400-plus stations are protected by access gates. Our goal is for this to reach 82 stations (93% likelihood).

  • Every day, there are cases of the district police looking to collaborate with Safety & Services.

  • Over a hundred station bans have been issued in the public transport sector.

Reports of aggression up slightly

NS encourages staff to report all incidents of aggression. We noted that there were more reports last year: 690 (642 in 2015). We have seen a decrease (11%) in the number of injuries as result of aggression. There were 211 injuries in 2015 and 188 in 2016. The 690 reports of aggression were largely cases of “pushing and shoving” (310 times). NS staff were spat at 88 times and threatened with a weapon 15 times. Physical violence was involved in 277 reported incidents.

Customer satisfaction with personal safety increases again

The customers’ perceptions of safety at stations and in trains improved in 2016, with 87.1% of customers giving a score of 7 out of 10 or higher (as opposed to 80.1% in 2015). A key reason for the increase is staff being deployed at specific locations and times. More stations are also getting gates for controlled access.

Suicide prevention and handling

Unfortunately, multiple suicides took place on the railways in 2016. NS works with ProRail and partners on measures for preventing these tragic incidents as much as possible. Suicides on the tracks cause prolonged disruptions and are shocking events for train staff. In cooperation with the Public Prosecution Service, the police and ProRail, NS is working on plans to speed up the handling of suicides on the railways. The objective is to reduce delays for our passengers.