PLANS to increase the numbers of specialist uniformed police officers patrolling the region’s bus, train and tram networks has been announced.
The four-year Safer Travel Plan sets out how the region’s police and transport bosses will work together to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour on public transport.
The plan has been agreed by West Midlands Police, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and British Transport Police working together through the pioneering Safer Travel Partnership.
The purpose of the plan is to ensure our teams are working effectively and efficiently to continue to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour (ASB) and improve passenger safety and is launched ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
A key proposal is to not only retain the numbers of police officers assigned to the transport network at current levels, but to significantly increase the numbers of uniformed Transport Safety Officers (TSOs), following the appointment of the first three last year.
TSOs hold powers granted by West Midlands Police under the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS), and can issue fixed penalty notices, obtain personal details and proactively deal with nuisance behaviour – including smoking, litter, disorder and damaging property.
A further aim is to work with Designing Out Crime experts to look at tackling safety concerns on the parts of a journey outside of public transport, such as the walk to a bus stop, train station or metro stop such as through better lighting and CCTV coverage.
This comes after the West Midlands Combined Authority chief executive Laura Shoaf and TfWM executive director Anne Shaw in their role of Government appointed transport champions published a series of recommendations and guidelines for the transport industry to reduce violence against women and girls.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster, said: “If we want more people to use public transport, then they need to feel safe doing so.
“That is why the Safer Travel team is so important. I am pleased that we are investing in more Transport Safety Officers to patrol the network to keep the public safe and deter crime.”