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Safety on the train and at the station

As a traveler, you can contribute to the safety of everyone on the train or at the station. What can you do when confronted with aggression or vandalism?

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.

  1. 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 by approaching him as a group.
  2. 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 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 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.

Rules for emergencies

  • 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.

Beggars on the train

Unfortunately, NS and the police have experienced an increase in the number of reports of begging on the train recently. For this reason, we have composed a list of questions and answers regarding this subject:

Are people allowed to beg on the train?

No. We think it is irritating and unpleasant for our passengers. The NS house rules state that people in the train must not disturb "order, peace, safety and proper operation" on the train. In addition, this rule has a basis in legislation. Article 72 of the Passenger Transport Act states that you may take action.

Is action taken against begging on the train?

Yes. If conductors catch beggars red-handed, then they can issue a fine. This also applies to laying down a pocket pack of paper tissues with a note. A conductor or member of the NS safety staff must see the act happen. Together with the police, we can determine where the most begging takes place and make sure that extra checks are carried out by NS personnel and by police officers (possibly in civilian clothes). This way, there is a higher chance that beggars will be caught and can be fined. Due to the recent increase in reports, we have been carrying out more of this kind of activity.

Does it help?

Yes, it appears that beggars avoid routes if extra checks are being carried out. There is a chance that they will reappear on another route. It is difficult to totally remove the problem, especially when beggars are in possession of valid tickets.

Is the number of beggars increasing?

We have noticed an increase in the number of reports recently. This may also have been caused by our request that people report issues via Twitter. Sometimes there will be ten reports about the same beggar from one carriage. Conversely, there are also beggars who are not reported at all. In 2015, the police fined 30 people for begging; in the first four months of this year they have already fined 29 people. For this reason, NS and the police are carrying out extra checks.

What can passengers do if they encounter beggars on the train?

The best advice is: do not give them money and report them to NS. You can make a report on the spot or via our Customer Service department. Some people find it awkward to ignore signs with personal messages or to not give money. During broadcasts, conductors will sometimes ask passengers to not give any money to beggars. By giving money, you reward people for begging on the train. Many beggars are part of organised groups that earn money from this. Thanks to your reports , we can take targeted action together with the police.