Attacks force Berlin to increase public transport security

Attacks force Berlin to increase public transport security
Following a series of violent attacks on public buses and trains in Berlin, the city’s public transportation network has said it will add up to 1,000 security personnel.

The German capital’s public transportation operator BVG said on Monday it was planning hundreds of new positions in order to make a noticeable difference in the security presence.

“Every security incident is one too many for us,” BVG board member Thomas Necker told RBB radio. But he admitted in the same interview that he was sceptical whether the increased number in personnel could totally eliminate the problem of violent attacks.

Necker ruled out arming BVG bus drivers and train conductors with pepper spray or something else, as it would simply lead to an escalation of violence and an increased danger for employees. He did, however, support the idea of having BVG personnel and Berlin police units patrol the network together. “If the personnel and cost situation of Berlin police allows, we will be the first to take part in it,” Necker said.

In recent days there have been several attacks on both BVG employees and passengers on Berlin’s public transportation network. In the early hours of Sunday morning a bus driver was severely injured after being stabbed and on Saturday a passenger was beaten unconscious by an unknown assailant on the Berlin metro, called the U-Bahn. Only last week another bus driver was also beaten unconscious while he was behind the wheel.