Troublemakers caught out as CCTV added to West Midlands buses

New CCTV cameras have been introduced in buses across the West Midlands to help police officers tackle anti-social behaviour and crime.

One of the latest fleet of West Midlands National Express buses in Wolverhampton
One of the latest fleet of West Midlands National Express buses in Wolverhampton

National Express West Midlands has revealed it has installed the state-of-the-art 4G Vemotion CCTV units to some of its vehicles.

The technology allows the Safer Travel police team to tap into live CCTV feeds and view anti-social behaviour on any vehicles housing the equipment.

The real-time footage means officers can then stop the bus and quickly act upon any anti-social behaviour.

CCTV footage from the buses has already resulted in a 75 per cent success rate in identifying offenders.

The installation of the cameras follows a successful trial of the 4G Vemotion CCTV units for BBC’s Crimewatch Roadshow last year.

As part of the trial, a pickpocket was caught live on camera on the top deck of a National Express West Midlands bus, and the Safer Travel control room dispatched a rapid response unit to arrest them before the offender had even realised they had been caught.

Passengers can also use the 'See Something, Say Something' service to report any anti-social behaviour on National Express West Midlands buses. The reports help to build data which assists officers in targeting crime hotspots.

Inspector Rachel Crump, policing lead for the Safer Travel Partnership, said: “Our job is to make sure people can travel safely on public transport and the information we receive from passengers through See Something, Say Something is incredibly useful.

"We use the information to look at hotspot routes or areas that we can target with the new 4G Vemotion units.

“Although they may not see blue lights arriving immediately, passengers can be assured that we are working hard behind the scenes to tackle anti-social behaviour on the bus network.”

Travelling on public transport in the West Midlands has seen crime fall by 70 per cent in the last eight years. On the bus network the total number of recorded crimes from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 was 2,755, a six per cent fall from 2,930 the previous year.

The most recent Transport Focus data showed that 78 per cent of passengers said they feel secure on National Express buses in the West Midlands. This figure has climbed 6 percentage points since 2012.

To report crime or anti-social behaviour on the bus network, passengers can text 'bus' then details of the incident including time, date, location and route number to 83010.

Alternatively passengers can download the free 'See Something, Say Something' phone app, or report incidents via the website www.safertravel.info.

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