Wheels in Ve-motion for Safer Travel in the West Midlands
Bus passengers can help police target ASB hotspots by using See Something Say Something
National Express West Midlands has installed 4G Vemotion CCTV units to some of its vehicles, helping Safer Travel police officers to target anti-social behaviour on the bus network in real-time.
The easy-to-use nature of the 4G Vemotion CCTV technology allows the Safer Travel team to tap into live CCTV feeds and view anti-social behaviour on any vehicles housing the equipment. The real-time footage means officers can then stop the bus and quickly act upon any anti-social behaviour.
Working together in the Safer Travel Partnership, anti-social behaviour and crime captured on CCTV from National Express West Midlands’ buses has already resulted in a 75% success rate in identifying offenders. This new technology will make the Safer Travel Partnership’s work even more effective and enables the bus operator to support police detention even better.
In 2015 the Safer Travel Partnership successfully tested the 4G Vemotion CCTV units for BBC’s Crimewatch Roadshow. As part of the test a pickpocket was caught ‘live’ on camera on the top deck of a National Express West Midlands bus, and the Safer Travel control room dispatched a rapid response unit to arrest them before the offender had even realised they had been caught.
Bus passengers can use the Safer Travel Partnership’s See Something, Say Something service to report any anti-social behaviour on National Express West Midlands buses. The reports help to build intelligence data which assists Safer Travel officers with pinpointing any particular hotspots to target.
See Something Say Something provides the travelling public with a discreet way to report nuisance and anti-social behaviour on the bus network. Passengers can text 'bus' then details of the anti-social behaviour including time, date, location and route number to 83010. Alternatively passengers can download the free 'See Something, Say Something' phone app, or by report incidents via the website www.safertravel.info.
Inspector Rachel Crump, policing lead for the Safer Travel Partnership, said:
“Our job is to make sure people can travel safely on public transport and the information we receive from passengers through See Something, Say Something is incredibly useful. We use the information to look at hotspot routes or areas that we can target with the new 4G Vemotion units.
“Although they may not see blue lights arriving immediately, passengers can be assured that we are working hard behind the scenes to tackle anti-social behaviour on the bus network.”
Passenger feedback has already provided crucial information to help the police tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.
A passenger that reported anti-social behaviour on an Erdington bus resulted in an offender being sent back to prison. The passenger used the See Something, Say Something service to report two other passengers who were openly taking drugs onboard the National Express West Midlands 28 service.
Safer Travel officers were able to work with the bus operator to identify the offender, who had recently been released from prison with good behaviour conditions that he had broken, and he was sent back to prison to serve the rest of his sentence.
Travelling on public transport in the West Midlands has seen crime fall by 70% per cent in the last eight years. On the bus network the total number of recorded crimes from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 was 2,755, a six per cent fall from 2,930 the previous year.
The most recent Transport Focus data showed that 78% of passengers said they feel secure on National Express buses in the West Midlands. This figure has climbed 6 percentage points since 2012.
Transport for West Midlands, West Midlands Police, British Transport Police and transport operators including National Express West Midlands make up the Safer Travel Partnership. The partnership exists to make public transport in the West Midlands even safer. The partnership is the first of its type in the country and recently won a silver award for ‘Putting Passengers First’ at the UK Bus Awards.