Safety on the train and at the station
Thanks to the consequences of the coronavirus epidemic, the services provided by NS are different than travellers are accustomed to. For example, the personal contact with the conductor can no longer be expected. But we still wish to offer travellers the option of contacting NS directly at any time, for example when something happens aboard the train. Starting on Friday, 24 April, we will therefore open a telephone hotline where train travellers can submit a report via WhatsApp or text message if they feel unsafe in the train or observe aggressive behaviour. NS began a test of this service last year at the request of the Ministry of Infrastructure.
WhatsApp/text message alert for unsafe situations
To report aggressive behaviour or unsafe situations aboard the train, travellers can send a WhatsApp or text message to telephone: 06 13 18 13 18. This will bring the traveller into direct contact with the NS Helpdesk.
Important: Always call the emergency number 112 in situations that require immediate assistance.
What will NS do with the report?
Our helpdesk assistant will determine which response is necessary for each situation. Sometimes it is enough for the traveller to simply feel heard. If the report requires immediate support, the helpdesk assistant will call in a flexible Security & Service team or the police. In other situations, they may contact the conductor, who can then decide to talk to the persons causing the problem or call on the assistance of the Security & Service personnel at the next station. The response will always be tailored to the specific situation.
Every day, NS works together with the government, ProRail and the police to make public transport even safer. And travellers have noticed: 90 percent of train travellers feel safe at the station and in the train. Nevertheless, NS is always open to suggestions for new measures to make travellers feel even safer.
Feeling safe on the train and at the station
We want you to be able to enjoy a safe journey. Our Safety & Service personnel monitor safety on the train and at the station and have been specially trained for this purpose. In addition, we take measures to improve social safety. To this end, there is camera surveillance at stations, many stations have been fitted with access gates to prevent free-riding and we carry out regular checks on trains and at our stations. We do this in collaboration with the police, the municipalities and other transport companies.
What can you do if you feel unsafe?
Get in contact with one of our personnel. Are you at a station where no NS personnel are available? Then you can contact our safety switchboard using the SOS button on the NS service column. This is intended for use in emergencies, such as accidents or unsafe situations.
Think about your own safety
The most important thing is that you remember to think about your own safety. Report unsafe situations to one of our employees. The best way to help victims of aggression and violence is to call for help as quickly as possible.
- Notify NS personnel or ask for help from bystanders . If you notice that a situation is getting out of hand, you can intervene by informing the NS personnel as quickly as possible or by pressing the alarm button on the Service & Alarm pole that is present on most platforms. This will put you into contact with an NS employee who knows what to do in the situation. You can also ask for help from bystanders. Look around to see if there are other people nearby, and call on them to help. Together you can do more to stop the perpetrator.
- Call emergency number 112. If no NS personnel are nearby, you can always call the emergency number 112 - even when you are not in the mobile reception area for your own provider or if your prepaid account balance is empty. As soon as you get an emergency operator on the line, the first thing you should do is tell them where you are and from whom you need help. If you are calling 112 from a mobile telephone number in the train, the first thing you should do is tell the operator your train wagon number or the next station you are approaching. The operator can have the emergency services standing by when you arrive at a station along the route.
- Remain with the victim. You can help the victim by staying with them and trying to reassure them. If you are trained to provide first aid, then please feel free to do so. The more you can do for the victim right away, the better.
- Report what you saw. Make sure that you are a good witness. If possible, take pictures of the perpetrator and report the incident to the police, so that you can tell them what you saw.
- Characteristics of the perpetrator. Try to remember as many of the characteristics of the perpetrator as possible. This is extremely valuable information for the police.
- Apprehend the suspect. You may also apprehend the suspect. Every citizen has the right to apprehend suspects of a crime. However, you may not use more force than necessary to prevent him or her from leaving the scene of the crime. For example, you may hold the suspect to the ground until the police arrive. Evaluate the situation and decide what the proper course of action is. Naturally, your own safety should come first.
Safety on the train
Leave the train in the event of an emergency. You may only pull the emergency brake handle if you are in immediate danger, but never do so in a tunnel! In the event of a serious emergency, it is dangerous if the train is stranded in a tunnel, as it makes it more difficult for the emergency services to reach the train. This is not the case if the train is still at the station in a tunnel. In the near future, most trains will be equipped with a sticker near the emergency brake. Never leave the train without the permission of an NS employee. This can be extremely dangerous.
What to do in the event of an emergency
- Follow the instructions given by the personnel
- Prepare to evacuate the train
- Move through the train to the reach the exit
- You must leave the train through a single door indicated by the personnel
- In the event of an emergency in a tunnel, walk as quickly as possible to the emergency exit in the tunnel. In the event of a fire in a tunnel, the train is the safest place to be for the first 15 minutes.