20kg of drugs seized on Vienna underground
Police have seized 20 kilograms of drugs and arrested nearly 2,000 people in just a matter of weeks after launching an operation on one of Vienna’s underground lines.
This week authorities announced that they have now hired private security firm staff to help support the operation taking place on the city’s U6 line.
Several stations along the U6 underground line are notorious in Vienna for being a hotspot for drug dealing that police have struggled to bring under control.
In February an 18-year-old suspected drug dealer incredibly survived being hit by an underground train while running across the tracks to escape police.
In addition to making 1,800 arrests, the 100 police officers who have been patrolling the line in recent weeks say 3,500 reports have been filed concerning drug offences and 30,000 identities have been taken down.
From Wednesday, 30 Vienna transport employees and eight private security guards have also been patrolling the line to keep an eye out for any dodgy dealings.
The employees from the private security firm, who will later also patrol with sniffer dogs, will cost the transport services €50,000 a month and will also be stationed along the U4 and U2 lines.
“We want to make the operation secure,” said Vienna city councillor Ulli Sima (SPÖ).
Vienna’s Green party say they are skeptical about the use of private security guards for what they argue is the job of the police.
“The officers are specially trained and know to observe human rights,” said party chairman David Ellensohn, arguing that private security services do not have the same training.
He added that should there be any abusive incidents, the operation should be shut down.