BRITISH TRANSPORT POLICE say that they will be increasing patrols on late evening trains through Moray after an increase of complaints about rowdy behaviour was noted.
Police say that the 9.33pm Inverness to Aberdeen service on a Saturday evening would be paid particular attention.
It was on that service that a 35-year-old was arrested when the train arrived in Elgin on Saturday, June 13. He has been reported to the procurator fiscal for alleged threatening behaviour when leaving the train.
Sgt Kevin Lawrence, who heads the transport police unit at Inverness, said that the majority of complaints have been about people spending the day drinking in Inverness before heading back home on the last train to Moray.
He said: “Staff have reported being subjected to verbal abuse by people mostly from Elgin or Keith who appear to have spent the day or evening in Inverness – and being told that they can’t continue to drink on the train due to ScotRail’s policy which restricts the sale and consumption of alcohol.
“This is an unusually busy service and other passengers and rail staff should be able to travel and work without encountering the unwelcome behaviour or people under the influence of alcohol.
“Railway bylaws exist for this very purpose and anyone found to be unfit through alcohol can be refused travel by the train operator or removed from the station.
“Officers will be working closely with ScotRail and colleagues in Police Scotland to monitor the behaviour of those travelling on this service.”
A spokeswoman for ScotRail said that an alcohol ban was in place on trains between 9pm and 10pm during which customers should not visibly carry alcohol regardless if it is open or not.