TravelSafe initiative launches in South Yorkshire
A partnership aimed at tackling crime and improving public confidence on public transport has been launched across South Yorkshire today (Wednesday 25 July).
South Yorkshire Police has teamed up with South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, First South Yorkshire, Stagecoach Buses, Stagecoach Supertram and Powell’s Bus Company to create a dedicated team.
TravelSafe aims to reduce crime and improve victim care to ensure that staff and passengers have the opportunity to enjoy everything South Yorkshire has to offer.
PC Chris Byne, who was previously employed as a bus driver while serving as a Special Constable, is leading the initiative, supported by the Joint Community Safety Department.
“TravelSafe is all about protecting vulnerable people and problem solving while reducing demand and preventing reoffending,” he said.
“By working together we can share intelligence and support our wider policing teams as well as raising awareness and training our officers.
“We want to ensure the people of South Yorkshire can enjoy what the county has to offer through safer and improved journeys on public transport.”
The main issues reported to officers on public transport are around criminal damage, antisocial behaviour and theft, in particular stolen travel passes.
It is hoped that through TravelSafe, officers will be able to respond more quickly and more effectively.
PC Byne added: “A recent success was when a vulnerable adult had their bus pass stolen and by working with partners, we had tracked down the offender on the bus route, returned the pass and reported the offender to court for all offences disclosed.
“Using similar technology, we also have the opportunity to quickly locate vulnerable missing people to ensure their safety and reduce partnership time, allowing investment elsewhere.”
He added: “This technology will also help us with wider investigations which include tracing wanted individuals, reviewing relevant CCTV and identifying crime hotspots through intelligence and complaints from customers.
“Most importantly it is also another opportunity for our officers and staff to engage with the public.”
Tim Taylor, Director of Customer Service at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) said customer safety on public transport networks was of critical importance.
He added: “Most of the 101 million bus journeys and 12.5 million tram journeys made each year by our customers are done so in complete safety. But on those occasions where antisocial or criminal behaviour takes places, customers want reassurance that incidents will be fully investigated and guilty parties caught and prosecuted.
“By working together we, South Yorkshire Police and the bus and tram operators can ensure that our local networks are safe and secure ways to travel for everyone in South Yorkshire, as well as supporting vulnerable members of the communities we serve when necessary.”
Simon Middleton, Staff Manager at First South Yorkshire, added: “We’re pleased to be supporting the launch of TravelSafe across South Yorkshire as we aim to keep all of our customers and staff safe whilst travelling on our vehicles.
“It is really important that every member of our community feels safe to travel on public transport without feeling intimidated or unduly concerned by the behaviour of others.”
You can follow the success of the TravelSafe partnership on twitter @syptravelsafe