Police in Portsmouth have been riding the buses this summer to tackle anti-social behaviour around Cosham.
The operation was run as part of Hampshire Constabulary’s Summer Anti-Social Behaviour campaign and has already seen results.
It was organised by PC Dan Darwin from the Cosham Safer Neighbourhoods team (SNT) in partnership with First Bus.
PC Darwin said: “During the last summer holidays we were getting about two reports each week from the bus companies saying their vehicles had been damaged, were being targeted by groups throwing stones or certain passengers were becoming rowdy and abusive.
“This kind of behaviour is considered very dangerous, and puts passengers and drivers at risk. We don’t take reports of this nature lightly, and have been working with the bus company over the summer holidays to maintain public safety and provide reassurance.
“This summer we’ve not received any calls from First Bus and I’d like think that’s down to our presence acting as a deterrent.
“We spoke to passengers who were happy to see us on there and felt reassured by our presence. First Bus were also very happy with what we were doing. They don’t like to have their buses off the road for repairs as much as the passengers don’t like having their services disrupted.”
Police officers and community support officers from the Cosham Safer Neighbourhoods team took to bus routes around the district on July 13 and August 18. Travelling in pairs, they patrolled the routes between midday and 8pm on both days.
Sergeant Guy Farmer said:
“This operation is an important one in our Summer Anti-Social Behaviour campaign. We’re not only preventing the irresponsible and harmful activities of individuals in the area, but are engaging well with the community and providing reassurance.
“Other areas we are working on are also benefitting from this operation. As officers ride the bus they are getting to view dispersal areas on route, and make sure nothing unsavoury is taking place. This is in addition to our regular patrols and ensures we keep anti-social behaviour at a minimum in the area.”
If you would like to learn more or contact your local Safer Neighbourhoods team, please call 101 or log on to www.hampshire.police.uk and click on ‘your local policing team.’