Bus passengers help combat anti-social behaviour
Hundreds of passengers have taken advantage of an anonymous information hotline to help police and transport chiefs combat anti-social behaviour aboard the region’s buses.
Safer Travel, a partnership between West Midlands Police, the Safer Birmingham Partnership, National Express West Midlands and Centro, launched See Something Say Something in October last year. In the 12 months following the launch, a total of 1,747 calls were logged through the scheme’s internet, text and phone reporting system.
The information from passengers has helped the Safer Travel Partnership stage a series of operations which have helped deter nuisance behaviour and led to a number of arrests.
Inspector Catherine Webb-Jones, who leads the Safer Travel police team, said: “It’s been very encouraging to see a growing number of passengers using See Something Say Something in order to play their part in fighting back against anti-social behaviour.
“The useful intelligence forwarded by these passengers has helped us stage a number of successful operations targeting specific areas.
“It’s been a case of “you said it, we did it” and we are very grateful to all those people who have used the reporting system.”
Crime on the region’s buses has been cut by 43 per cent over the last two years and with bus crime now at its lowest level for four years, the main concern for many passengers is combating nuisance behaviour.
Figures for the first 12 months show that smoking on the bus has been the biggest anti-social issue amongst passengers with graffiti and the playing of loud music also highlighted.
The information submitted through See Something Say Something has helped the Partnership build a picture of hotspots and take appropriate action.
Bus operator National Express West Midlands has carried out more than 100 anti-smoking covert operations in the first year which has resulted in 70 offenders being taken to court and fined.
The Safer Travel team has also followed up reported incidents by studying CCTV footage, launching regular patrols along hot spot routes and mounting undercover, plain clothes operations.
Under the See Something Say Something scheme, passengers can give details about incidents of anti-social behaviour by logging on to www.safertravel.info
Alternatively they can text 07624 818332 or simply phone West Midlands Police on 0845 113 5000.
If a passenger witnesses a crime they should phone 999 as usual.