Concern about anti-social behaviour on buses led Lancashire County Council to set up the Safer Travel Unit in 2002. The aim of the Safer Travel Unit is to enable people travelling on buses to have a safe and enjoyable journey. There are currently two Police Community Support Officers who work with schools and bus operators to try and reduce the number of incidents and anti-social behaviour on buses by dealing with offenders.
To learn more about the nature and number of incidents, the unit introduced reporting systems for bus operators, schools and passengers.
The unit have worked with Police Cadets to set up reconstructions of real incidents that occur on services and made this available as an educational resource to all schools in Lancashire via www.saferschools.lancsngfl.ac.uk.
In 2001 there were growing concerns regarding anti-social behaviour on buses, therefore Lancashire County Council appointed Accrington and Rossendale College to investigate the problem. Consultation with the police, bus operators, parents, pupils and schools revealed;
· 22% of children using school transport had suffered bullying or been a victim of anti-social behaviour.
· 73% of bus users had been a victim more than once.
· 26% of parents and 46% of children had not reported incidents.
· 85% of schools had received reports of bullying or antisocial behaviour but only 5% had reported.
· 75% of the operators who responded said more needed to be done to reduce anti-social behaviour.
These statistics led to the Safer Travel Unit being established with a view to improve behaviour on buses, particularly school services.
Education and Training
Online assemblies are available for High Schools to use as an educational resource. The courses have lesson plans and supporting materials to deliver citizenship skills to pupils in all Years, allowing them to use public transport effectively, safely and responsibly.
Interventions for miscreants include verbal and written warnings, Acceptable Behaviour Agreements and exclusions from the bus services.
CCTV has been introduced to assist staff to observe anti-social behaviour and address offenders directly using digital images as proof of identity.
There are many reporting systems in place from filling in reporting cards to calling our hotline.