Northumbria Police to deploy 'Trojan' bus in anti-social behaviour crackdown
Northumbria Police will be deploying a decoy bus in an effort to tackle anti-social behaviour.
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Northumbria Police is set to deploy a 'Trojan' bus in an effort to crackdown on anti-social behaviour (ASB) in hotspot areas.
The decoy bus, which will be deployed across the North East, will be full of plain clothes police officers acting as the passengers.
The tactic will see officers on board what appears to be a regular bus service but instead, it will operate by picking up ASB offenders at bus stops and stations to help officers make any necessary arrests.
Northumbria Police will be working with travel operator Stagecoach to deploy the decoy bus, with additional funding secured through Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Kim McGuinness' Safer Transport Northumbria project.
The bus will follow various routes and head to different destinations as it will be dispatched as a direct response following complaints from local residents or public transport users.
Kim McGuinness has revealed that the bus will be one of many tactics used by police officers to clamp down on ASB across the region.
She said: "The Trojan bus tactic is one of many strategies being used by officers to tackle ASB on and around North East buses. "
It’s a direct action, responding to community concerns and putting a stop to them.
“Anyone who thinks they can get away with throwing stones at vehicles, vandalising bus stops or riding motorbikes on pedestrian pathways needs to think again – this bus could be pulling up at your feet sometime soon.
“It's early days but this bus has real potential to help crime fighting officers make any necessary arrests.
"Buses play such a vital role in helping our communities, getting people where they need to go, linking them with opportunities.
"People tell me they want public transport that’s affordable, reliable and crucially safe – this bus can really help with that part and help improve lives of those fed up with the ASB that goes on while they are waiting for a bus.
“It really is vital that we take people’s concerns around ASB seriously and that our police respond with positive and robust action to tackle the issues raised.
"Our Trojan bus is a great example of how we are listening, and how our police are working hard to catch those responsible and put a stop to behaviours that people understandably have had enough of in their area.”
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Neighbourhood Inspector Gemma Calvert, of Northumbria Police, has highlighted that the bus has already been deployed in South Tyneside to tackle hotspot areas.
She commented: “As a Force, we recognise that the anti-social behaviour of a minority can have a significant and detrimental impact on the communities we serve – and that includes on public transport.
“The Trojan bus in South Tyneside is just one innovative way we are tackling pockets of disorder and identify those causing issues in hotspot area.
“Already we’re seeing some promising results and, together with our partners, we will continue to use every tactic at our disposal to fight crime and keep people safe."