Interior Ministry: Only Police Can Restore Order on Trains

Stock photo by TASR

Bratislava, January 16 (TASR) – Only the police can step in when public order is disrupted on board trains, and neither People’s Party-Our Slovakia (LSNS) patrols nor Roma civil patrols have any authority to do so, said the Interior Ministry in response to OLaNO-NOVA’s initiative from earlier in the day.

OLaNO-NOVA head Igor Matovic and the same party’s MP Peter Pollak presented a plan earlier in the day to introduce Roma civil patrols in order to drive vigilantes affiliated with LSNS from problematic train lines.

“Seventy police patrols are in place on board trains each day. They’re being deployed on almost 300 trains, depending on safety concerns. They’ve contributed to there being fewer crimes on trains each year,” said the ministry.

Close to 600 criminal offences were perpetrated on board trains last year, with around half of them cleared up, said the ministry. Also detected were some 27,000 minor violations, which came with on-the-spot fines. A drop of one quarter on the year was recorded in this respect.

“In recent years, there’s been an increasing number of police officers – Roma specialists, of which there are 283 now. Not all of them are Roma, however. To become a police officer, one must fulfil the conditions and requirements set by law,” said the ministry.

Interestingly, Mr. Pollak didn’t present a plan for Roma civil patrols until after his tenure as government proxy for Roma communities (2012-16) was up, said the ministry.