SMH- Arsonists wreak Havoc

Arsonists and rock throwers wreak havoc on rail network
Alexandra Smith
January 23, 2008

ARSONISTS are lighting fires in CityRail's train carriages almost
every second day, figures reveal.

While graffiti may still be a big problem for the rail network,
vandals are also increasingly turning their efforts to rock throwing.

Latest figures, which do not include the final three months of last
year, show that in some months there were as many as 20 fires in
trains, almost all deliberately lit, and as many as 30 objects a month
were thrown at trains, some causing long delays to services.

In the nine months to September there were 143 fires on trains, the
figures reveal, and there were 149 incidents where objects were thrown
at trains. They were usually rocks, although sometimes they were as
large as mattresses.

A RailCorp spokeswoman said the CSIRO was reviewing fire standards on
CityRail trains to ensure passenger safety.

"RailCorp employs standards for fire retardancy of all materials
placed in trains. Materials are regularly tested to these standards,"
the spokeswoman said.

"RailCorp transit officers are deployed to target known crime hot
spots and perceived problem areas and at times when they are most
needed for the safety and security of passengers on the rail network."

Vandalism cost the Government about $15 million each year, the
spokeswoman said.

Apart from the cost, acts of graffiti and vandalism could cause
significant delays to train services and in turn inconvenience
commuters, which was why RailCorp invested significantly in targeting
vandals in co-operation with the police, the spokeswoman said. The
Government had been forced to spend $7.7 million last year on fencing
Sydney's rail corridor and installing screens to protect trains from
rock throwers, she said. Security fencing was upgraded at a number of
hot spots, including Blacktown, St Marys, Doonside and Seven Hills.

One sign of the increased focus on graffiti and vandalism on the rail
network was Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research data showing that
in 2006, when the Police Rail Vandalism Task Force was set up, the
number of cases of malicious damage to railway property going to court
rose 53 per cent on the previous year, the spokeswoman said.

Matters proceeded against other than to court for malicious damage on
railway premises in 2006 had also increased by 68 per cent.
Oh What a Gasser! Rex Mossop.
I'm still trying to work out the "thrill" these morons get from throwing objects at trains....  >Sad
Probably much the same as the "thrill" I got when I heard that two Grafitti "artists" got themselves drowned while defacing a drain...
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