NSW Crime, public transport: NSW Police target offenders from ‘buffer riding’ on trains and light rail

Offenders are risking their lives and causing massive delays across the Sydney public transport network in the hopes of gaining social media attention.

As part of the three-month long Operation Rampart, NSW Police have been targeting people partaking in ‘buffer riding’ and ‘roof riding’ on train and light rail vehicles.

CCTV footage shows offenders riding trains on the back of carriages, sometimes in broad day light, and flouting their own safety.

Alarmingly, NSW Police believe some offenders are engaging in the highly dangerous practice purely to gain views on videos posted to social media.

Police Transport and Public Safety Command South West Commander Superintendent Mark Wall sent a strong message to those still participating in unsafe practices on public transport.

“The message is simple; don’t put your life at risk trying to impress your friends, or with the goal of getting ‘views’ on social media,” Superintendent Wall said.

He said significant resources had been poured into the operation in an effort to stamp out the high risk and dangerous behaviour.

Officers were given additional funded shifts to help patrol railway lines and target those engaging in ‘buffer riding’.

Uniformed officers were seen catching rule breakers in the act at some stations from late November and will be patrolling through to mid-February.

Transport for NSW secretary Josh Murray said the 27 incidents recorded last year were far from “harmless fun”, as they put the safety of all those involved at risk.

“This is far from harmless fun, or content for a social media reel – it puts the safety of passengers, staff and the person themselves at serious risk,” Mr Murray said.

“People who hold onto the light rail while on a bike or scooter are duelling with danger.

“Despite their name, light rail vehicles weigh a minimum of 40 tonnes when empty, so are anything but light if they make contact with a person, bike, scooter or skateboard.”

The worst case scenario included serious injury or death from falling or being electrocuted, Mr Murray said.

Officers have also had to respond to various assaults on commuters and acts of vandalism in and around stations across Sydney.

In footage shared by NSW Police, a man can be seen trying to kick and punch passengers as they attempt to get on to trains.

One young male offender was caught attempting to graffiti fencing and a wall before being swiftly caught out by police.

Commuters have also been left feeling the pain of the reckless and anti-social behaviour, with Sydney Trains Head of Security and Intelligence Jess Sharpe saying incidents had accounted for nearly 11,000 minutes worth of delays so far this year, peaking during the holiday period.

“We have seen a rise in buffer riding incidents during the school holidays,” Ms Sharpe said.

She said with some trains weighing over 400 tonnes and travelling up to 110km/h, it was simply “not worth it” for people to entertain the dangerous behaviour being exhibited.

“The impact these stupid acts have on our staff cannot be put into words,” she said.

“They are very traumatic at the very least.”

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