Plans to increase the numbers of specialist uniformed officers patrolling the region’s bus, train and tram networks have been launched.
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 ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games which will see a significant increase in passengers this summer.
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.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Although incidents of crime on our buses, trains and trams are thankfully low when you consider the millions of journeys taken each week, those incidents – however few – can be terrifying for those involved and put people off using public transport again.
“It is therefore vital that we get more uniformed staff out and about, ensuring they are visible across our transport network as well as targeting anti-social behaviour. Our latest Safer Travel Plan will help do exactly that by increasing the number of our transport safety officers over the coming years.”