The Safer Travel Partnership has launched a new one-year plan that includes increased use of CCTV and technology to help monitor where the public are not using face coverings on public transport.
The Partnership, which includes West Midlands Police, British Transport Police, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and public transport operators is focussed on reducing crime and anti-social behaviour on the bus, train and tram networks across the region.
As well as increased CCTV coverage across bus, train and tram services, new technology has also enabled the Partnership to support the safety of passengers through the Covid-19 pandemic.
A new app has been specifically developed for officer’s use when on deployment to record details of passengers directed to leave buses for not using face coverings.
This allows police community support officers and constables to identify any passengers repeatedly ignoring the legislation and issue an appropriate intervention – whether it’s an education on the necessity of face coverings or a Fixed Penalty Notice for those passengers refusing to cooperate.
The app also records time and location information which, added to the transport operator data, allows them to focus our resources in the areas where they are most needed.
The Safer Travel Plan includes a pledge to put four extra special constables on the public transport beat.
David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Throughout the pandemic use of public transport has fallen.
“Through the Safer Travel Partnership we must ensure that the use of buses, trains and trams is safe.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “People will only start to use public transport again in greater numbers if they feel safe.
“That is exactly what we are addressing through the Partnership.”