A POLICE officer has been recruited to help beat crime on the buses.
West Yorkshire’s bus companies have appointed a dedicated police sergeant to make public transport safer by driving down incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour.
Safer Transport West Yorkshire is a new partnership between West Yorkshire Police, the independent transport authority Metro and bus companies including Arriva, First Buses, Stagecoach and Transdev.
As part of the new partnership, Sergeant Rachel Claughton has been appointed as the Transport Liaison Officer.
Her full-time role will involve working with all 47 of West Yorkshire Police’s Neighbourhood Policing Teams based across the county to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour affecting the public transport network.
Sgt Claughton will work with the Neighbourhood Policing Teams investigating offences and will also share up-to-date information with Metro and the bus companies thanks to the help of a dedicated analyst.
This will allow the partnership to plan proactive operations to tackle any potential hotspots or trends in crime or anti-social behaviour before they have the chance to escalate.
Sgt Claughton’s new role has been made possible thanks to funding from Metro and the 40 bus companies who operate in West Yorkshire.
She said: “All organisations signed up to Safer Transport West Yorkshire share the same strong commitment to keeping public transport free from crime and antisocial behaviour.
“The new partnership will ensure a wider understanding of the issues affecting the public transport network so we can intervene at an early stage as well as working to raise awareness of the consequences of such crimes and antisocial behaviour.”
Metro chairman Coun Chris Greaves, said: “Metro, West Yorkshire Police and the bus and train operators have worked closely over many years to ensure public transport remains safe.
“Only a tiny number of the 220 million bus and train journeys made each year in West Yorkshire are affected by antisocial or criminal behaviour but we think it is important that all passengers feel they can complete their journeys safely.”
Police advise bus passengers to sit near the driver on an empty bus; avoid isolated bus stops; walk back or forwards to a stop that is well lit or less lonely; carry a personal attack alarm.