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Post-attack debate

Train violence on the decrease

Despite the debate over security on Swiss trains followed the Salez attack, violence on trains has been going down for several years, it has been confirmed.

A 27-year-old Swiss man attacked several passengers on a train on the eastern Swiss border on August 13 using a knife and flammable liquid. A 34-year-old woman died from her injuries. The attacker was also confirmed dead after suffering serious burns. Police later said that the incident was not connected to terrorism.

St Gallen's prosecutor's office has opened a criminal investigation into the attack.

In the meanwhile, there has been discussion in Switzerland over whether violence on trains is increasing.

But figures cited in the Schweiz am Sonntag newspaper show that attacks on Swiss Federal Railways employees have actually reduced. This was confirmed by Federal Railways spokesman Jean-Philippe Schmidt on Sunday. 

In 2012 there were 236 attacks, but by 2015 the number had fallen to 184.

This confirms a trend over almost a decade: in 2008 and 2009, for example, there were 297 and 250 attacks respectively. Staff are no longer faced with violence on a daily basis, said Schmidt.

Better security measures, including video surveillance, have helped, he continued. Staff numbers have increased on trains. Since 2009 private security personnel have been patrolling railway line trouble spots during the night and at weekends.. Since 2002 two controllers have been on duty on regional and intercity trains. Transport police are also armed.

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