Friday, January 11, 2008

Everyone Agrees That Crime and Anti Social Behaviour are a Problem for Bus Passengers

Except for the Mayor...

This morning sees the launch of a cross party report from the transport committee which focuses on bus crime. Avid bus users will know that the committee has taken evidence from groups representing passengers, transport providers and police. Some of the most damning evidence came from bus drivers who find themselves in the front line of the battle against youth disorder. We also carried out two visits to observe policing on the buses in Bromley and in Stratford.

Two years ago, crime rose sharply and the slight decline over the last year has done little to compensate. This coincided with the start of Livingstone's free travel schemes for under 16s and under 18s, a fact that is dismissed as coincidence by his Labour colleagues.

The committee makes a number of constructive suggestions, including:

Use of live CCTV in situations where the driver has sounded the alarm. This would enable a faster and more effective response.

Considering more powers for revenue protection staff and PCSOs, to make life harder for criminals.

Better training for drivers who have to deal with some threatening situations.

We hoped that the mayor would accept these in the same constructive spirit, but this morning his Labour acolytes were criticising the report and claiming there is no problem - obviously they don't use the buses.

Meanwhile it is good to see that Boris Johnson has supported measures to trial live CCTV.

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