Plain clothes gardaí patrol Cork bus route to stop teens robbing 

Plain clothes gardaí patrol Cork bus route to stop teens robbing 

Plainclothes Gardaí have been patrolling the 202 bus to Mahon.

PLAIN clothes Gardaí have been patrolling the 202 bus to Mahon over the past two weeks following reports of schoolboys being robbed during their commute.

A number of first-year and second-year students have been robbed of sums of money while taking the bus to and from school.

Sergeant Stewart Philpott from the Garda Community Policing division said plain-clothes operations had been implemented randomly over the past two weeks in a bid to catch the culprits.

“It is something that came to light after a parent contacted us after her son was robbed of a substantial sum of money,” he said.

Sgt Philpott said there was no official complaint made to the Gardaí in relation to the situation, but they had taken steps to investigate the issue regardless.

“We have identified a number of people who we think may be involved in the activity, there is definite extortion, coercion and intimidation, but it is very subtle.

“It is first and second-year students being targeted by teenagers a bit older, roughly 15 or 16 years of age.

“We think they all know each other and that is why no complaint has yet been made.”

Sgt Philpott said they had visited the schools involved and offered basic crime prevention tips to the students.

“The advice is very basic, don’t carry large sums of money on you, be aware of who is around and you and try not to be alone.”

Sgt Philpott said he understood it was a frustrating issue for the families involved but said since they had visited the schools and since the plain-clothes operations had commenced, there had been no further reports of incidents.

“We have had no more reports of theft on the 202 bus and we have not witnessed anything in our plain clothes operations. The issue seems to have stopped,” he said.

Head of the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) Dermot O’Leary said he was horrified at the issues being faced on the 202 bus and said this reinforces the need for a dedicated Garda Public Transport Division. 

“High levels of anti-social behaviour are prevalent across many routes, it is quite systematic.”

His organisation is in regular communication with the Gardaí. 

“This pro-active and collaborative approach is crucial in ensuring that any instance of anti-social behaviours is kept to a minimum,” he said. 

All Bus Éireann vehicles are fitted with internal and external CCTV cameras.

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