misuse of force by a conductor

  • 29 april 2019
  • 36 reacties
  • 1242 Bekeken

Dear Ns ,

I travel at least 5 days to my work respecting all the rules all the time , never had a fine of any kind here in the Netherlands , unfortunately on Thursday April the 25th i had really baaaaaad experience with 3 of your conductors , i travel with a business card from Delft to Gouda and check-in as i do always and walking towards the platform , there was the train and only one door was open so i thought it still possible to get on (no conductor ever before said that is not allowed) , And because the conductors were still standing on the platform but when they saw me they rushed to get on the train , they stood on the door and one of them started shouting in my face , didn't understand what he was saying because my Dutch isn't very good and maybe if he was acting professionally and speaking clearly i would have understood what he was trying to say , but instead he kept acting rude , unfriendly , irritated , without giving me a chance to speak , i can understand the frustration and the challenges the conductors face everyday and the hard work they do to make sure all the trains leave and arrive on time but he had time to treat me like that yet he didn't let me get on the train !!!?? I was completely confused , so i tried to get on , i used no power whatsoever , that was when they attacked me shouting that i was aggressive !?? I was shocked they tried to put me on ground and all i was doing is trying to stay on my feet because I'm not a criminal or a terrorist , but they treated me as one , when he knew that i spoke English he said that he already told me not getting on the train after a conductor whistle and explained it to me , how could that be an explanation while i didn't understood what he was saying especially that it was in Dutch??? then another conductor joined them and they twisted my arm and put it behind my back and kept twisting and squeezing it , while i was screaming of pain and he was asking me not to move which was hilarious ! he was breaking my arm and asking me not to move !? I don't know what kind of authority he was given to use force but he got it all wrong because i wasn't attacking them or fighting back , he kept hurting me until the police agents arrived , they asked him to let go of me but he didn't , the police agent had to ask him again then he did , he started telling his version of the story and telling the agents that he's gonna press charges plus a fine and insisted on that , the police agent told him "er is geen letsel" of course there is no injurie because i didn't hit anybody , so no charges , he didn't like it , then he said in this case I'm going to give you 3 fines , it was 1 then turned to 3 because he couldn't press charges ???!! Hundreds of people around me i felt devastated so I didn't argue i asked permission from the police agents then i went away . It was my mistake that i didn't know that I'm not allowed to get on the train after the conductors whistle and i accept to pay the fine (only one not 3 , still didn't receive it yet ) , but Being ridiculed , embarrassed in front of other people, and all that Humiliation can be very damaging to a person. ... Having one's dignity taken away like that is a very serious situation so i hope that my voice will find somebody that can truly listen in order to prevent it from happening to other people.
Ps : there is security cameras everywhere at the station so the footage can confirm my story .


36 reacties

Reputatie 7
Badge +3
If you really travel to work by train on a regular basis, have not ever heard of "Fluiten = niet meer instappen" (After whistling no more boarding the train) of have you not ever seen the campaign?
And have you not ever read the houserules that hang in every train?

And if this happened on the 16.54 train from Delft to Amsterdam, I think you very much for causing the 20 minute delay of this train and trains behind this one.

Yes sir I do travel a lot by train and yes sir I didn't know the rules and believe it or not it's the first time that I see this poster , maybe i do mind my business more that i should or i don't look at every poster around me or campaign and about the delay i feel sorry for the people that had to experience that , again i don't blame myself for it the footage can speak for themselves if only you could take a look then decide if i was the one to blame .
Btw the doors wasn't closing at the moment , they were widely open .
Reputatie 5
This was a major disruption of train services during rush hour on one of the busiest routes of the train network. I think you should be lucky only to have received 3 small fines. The total cost of this incident will be thousands of euros in delay and cancellations, missed connections and refunds, let alone the costs of law enforcement, incident control, etc.

In general the rule in any country for all rail services is: 'whistle blows, train goes'. In particular at a station with 10 trains per hour, boarding a training after the whistle was blown, is just not a clever thing to do. Starting an argument, even less clever.
Good evening A.driouch and welcome to the NS Community!

I see Sneltram and Momo have already referred to the rules and regulations regarding the departure procedure and restrictions with boarding once that has been initiated. However, even though we try to inform as many passengers as possible through campaigns, it is still possible that not everyone is up to speed with that, which shouldn't be a problem. What I understand from your story is that you were one of those people and were handled disproportionately as a result. That shouldn't happen and if it truly did, I'm sorry.

That said, I wasn't present when this event occurred and therefore cannot say what exactly transpired or judge whether or not the actions of the conductors were truly disproportionate. There are plenty of times where someones story turns out to be a different interpretation from what actually happened. I'm not saying that this was the case for your situation, but I cannot judge based on one side of the story.

It is very clear how you experienced the ordeal however. The least I can do is forward your story so we can investigate to find out what truly happened and take action if needed. If you want me to, I would like to receive a private message with a few more details regarding the story:
  • The exact time that the related train was supposed to depart. Momo suggested one based on a disruption, but you've not confirmed that to be the correct one.
  • Characteristics of the relevant conductors. Think (an estimation of) age, height, body type, complexion, hairstyle, hair- and eye colour, clothing and any other distinct features like glasses, tattoo's or piercings et cetera.
  • If you'd like to register this by name, your full name, zip code, house number and date of birth. Do note that you will not receive any feedback on this, we'll investigate and handle it internally.
You should say that to the conductors whom really were the reason of the disruption , i didn't start any argument or fought them . Even if i know about the rules they shouldn't treat me like that .
Reputatie 7
Badge +3
Btw the doors wasn't closing at the moment , they were widely open .

In your first post you say " only one door was open ".
If you travel by train a lot, surely you must have seen the departure procedure. Conductor whistles, he/she closes all doors but the last one he /she is standing at, then closes the last. So if only one door is still open, there was already a whistle and you are not allowed in anymore. You may ask the conductor politely if you can still get in, but if the answer is no, accept you were too late and wait for the next train.

As Sneltram states this caused a major disruption of several trains for about an hour, 7 trains having a 15 - 20 minute delay and 1 train being cancelled.
What I witnessed arriving on the platform around 16.58 was one very agitated young man surrounded by 4 conductors, at least one being from the train on the other track (the 16.54 sprinter to Dordrecht which also got delayed by 8 minutes) trying to calm you down (if that was indeed you) but not succeeding.
That agitated man was on pain Mr Momo , but you couldn't see that , thank you for responding anyway.
Momo and Sneltram i Thank you for your time and replays . for some more clarity , you don't have to believe me but I'll repeat it anyway , i didn't know about those regulations even i travel a lot with NS trains , thank you for making me aware of it , but I should have known , you have made your point no argument with that and i accept to pay the fine , but only if the conductors were professional enough i won't try to get on that train and I'll just walk away because I'm not a trouble maker , and if i did attack them or tried to cause trouble , do you think that the police agents would let me go ?

Reputatie 3
Very unprofession work. This is not te right workaurond i hope!
A hefty reprimand is in place for the conductor.

All the delays after this situation are due to the unacceptable behavior of the conductors.
Reputatie 7
Badge +3
Really Huibf??
Clearly whistle must have been blown, as all doors but the last one were closed. Somebody still tries to get in, let 's give him the benefit of the doubt of not having heard the whistle coming late on the platform, he gets shout at not to enter, even if you don't understand the language that must be a sign of something being wrong. I would then stop and wonder if it was still ok to enter and perhaps ask this. But then, I have familiarized myself with the rules and pay attention to things around me.
But person still continues to enter while pulling on the conductor to get past (explanation given by train personnel to passengers on the train).

I can't comment on the amount of force being used and whether or not this was too much as I did not witness this (he was only being held by his jacket at the time I arrived), but this all would not have happened when he simply would not have continued to enter the train in this situation.
Momo , you can talk about the rules that i broke as long as you want , nobody is going to say you are wrong , but " held by his jacket" seriously ?!?! You saying that , is either you don't have integrity or you weren't there at all .
Reputatie 7
Badge +3
That is what I saw when walking by coming from the escalator, just before 17.00 that day (check-in 16.57), a conductor holding somebody by (what looked like a black) jacket, in the neck area. Anything that happened between 16.54 and 16.57 I did not witness since at that time I was indeed not there yet.

And since I do have integrity I did not stand around the group of conductors and the agitated person near the first door of the second part of the train to try and follow what was going on or watch very closely, but I entered the train and waited patiently to see when we would leave.

If your incident occurred at a different time and this was not you, I must have seen somebody else, hence the question in my first remark if this happened on the 16.54 train from Delft to Amsterdam.
Yes Ms/Miss Momo (sorry for referring you as he before) it was that incident , so you saw the jacket and the color but you couldn't see my twisted arm ? You keep suggesting that i was the inhumane agitated person that was acting like an animal , what a shame , well you just proved it yourself you didn't came closer to find out what was really going on , you didn't answer my question before if i was acting like a monster , threatening anybody's safety , would the police let me go just like that ?
Reputatie 7
Badge +3
I never said you were inhumane or acting like an animal and no I did not see a twisted arm since I came onto the platform, only took a quick look, walked past and entered the train when it became clear doors were not locked, as I am no voyeur or "ramptoerist".
Also there were 4 conductors standing around you plus some other people on the platform.
Yes Momo you shouldn't be a voyeur nor a "ramptoerist" , and since you are implying that it was a disaster then you are right , i suffered from it more than anybody in the station , But you should rather be a good observer to remain neutral and provide the NS community with factual reports. You still didn't answer my question about the police not locking me up?
Please, watch your tone! Let's be nice to each other.
Reputatie 7
Badge +3
Why would the police lock you up? They've got your details, they've written a report and the tickets for the fines for violating the rules of the safe operation of the railway service and for causing a disturbance have been issued.

It may be useful for you to understand that the current rules and regulations about not boarding trains after the whistle has gone (so you're not allowed to board at the last open door of the train when departure is imminent) have come into operation after some very serious incidents when people have been seriously injured after trying to board a train at the last second.

Some conductors are very strict and some are a bit more lenient. But a conductor has every right to refuse a passenger entry to the train when the whistle has gone and there's only one door open. It's also in the regulations of the the railway that you should always follow the instructions of authorised staff. You clearly didn't follow that instruction by trying to board anyway.

Source: https://www.ns.nl/binaries/_ht_1520262041715/content/assets/ns-en/terms/general-terms-and-conditions-for-the-transport-of-passengers-and-hand-luggage-of-the-ns-avr-ns.pdf

These regulations are applicable from the moment you enter a station.

It's very unfortunate that the situation escalated in the manner it did. But not understanding enough Dutch in the Netherlands is never an excuse. You still have to follow the instructions given by conductors, even if you don't (fully) understand them.
iMark , I'm not making excuses i was wrong trying to get on the train after the conductors explanation , i didn't understand or didn't know the rules are still my fault , but misuse of power is the issue here , because if i was aggressive the police will not only take my personal details and release me .
Reputatie 7
Badge +3
Like I said, it's very unfortunate that the situation escalated like it did. Since I wasn't there I can't possibly make any judgements about what happened and why. So I'm not going to be dragged into a discussion about the police abusing their powers.
It sounds like the police did exactly what they intend to do in the first place; de-escalate the situation. They told the conductors that there was not any reason for them to press charges, your personal details are known so there is no reason for them to bring you in. Did the police ask you for your statement and if so, what did you tell them?
Badge +3
If I understand correctly, the (2 or 3) conductors (or BOA security personnel) were probably agitated in the first place (because of some other dispution?) and were standing at the platform (not in the open door) talking to each other?

Then came you, trying to board the train though the still open door. Of course, the train was going nowhere at that moment (at least not without a conductor on board) so there was no real danger.

The rules are clear, though.. no more boarding after the whistle. Did you hear the whistle, or were the doors already closed for a long time? Do you remember the time, and the planned departure time of the train, or did you just take a run for it because it was still standing there?

In that case, they should have blocked the open door, or at least have prevented you (by shouting "Hey, no boarding!" or something) from entering the waiting train.

No need for any violence at that point, unless you ignored them and still went ahead to board. In that case, they should have removed you from the train (by asking first, then by applicable/necessary force) and give you a fine. If you didn't use any violence (or showed aggression, fot which ignoring or not understanding them can be taken) there is no need for them to put you down on the ground and twist your arm.
imark , tridek_ok , you should read my posts first , the police agents didn't even touch me , I'm talking about the conductors .
imark , tridek_ok , you should read my posts first , the police agents didn't even touch me , I'm talking about the conductors .

You did ask a couple of times why the police didn't take you in, I'm giving you an explanation for that. My question still is; were you asked for a statement by the police?
Reputatie 7
Badge +3
I did read the posts. But I did make an error when I wrote 'police' rather than 'conductors'. I did understand that the situation escalated between you and the 3 conductors, which is of course very unfortunate. For whatever reason that was.
Lately, We’ve seen multiple acts of BOA’s acting in a unpredictable way, often escalating the situation theirselves.
We (travelers) are supposed to know the rules. I think it’s fair to ask that we get treated in a transparent and uniform way when there’s a rule that gets broken.
Shouting at a traveler in first place seems to be a very very bad start of a conversation and should be stressed out in any BOA 101 crash course.
Putting someone on the ground with force during rush hour when there’s absolutely no reason for this is just disgusting.
They’ve could give the traveler a fine and clearly explain the rules, nothing would probably have happen and there would be no delays at all.