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Tackling Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Operators need to ensure the safety of staff and passengers, as well as protect property and equipment from criminal damage. They may also have to deal with the fear of crime which can prevent the public from using transport services.

Young people who are disruptive on public transport can create tensions and problematic journeys for both transport providers and other passengers. It can be difficult to find the appropriate response to challenging behaviour from young people. Their actions may sometimes be boisterous rather than anti-social, but this can lead to more serious actions, such as bullying or theft.

Physical and technological measures that keep vehicles safe include:

  • Secure cash boxes
  • CCTV fitted on and in vehicles
  • IP cameras offering improved footage (deterring attempts at insurance fraud in particular)
  • Screens installed to protect drivers from assault
  • A two-way radio or other means to contact an appropriate person in case of emergency
  • Appropriate communication channels to report all incidents of abuse
  • A secure system for keeping this information, so it can be used as evidence to support applications for an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) or other banning order on persistent trouble-makers
  • Appropriate training and powers to carry out their job

As employers, operators also have a legal duty to promote safety at work, including appropriate measures to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. They have to draw up safety policies and procedures for staff, passengers and vehicles. 

Drivers can also play an important role in ensuring safety on board. Staff training complements CCTV and other security measures by ensuring drivers know how to:

  • Take practical steps to help prevent crime and disorder
  • Tackle difficult situations calmly
  • Report incidents
  • Collect evidence

Synectics, with its over 25 years experience in on-vehicle CCTV, can help bus and coach operators deploy the best system for their requirements. But the team can also advise on and assist with the duties that come with operating a CCTV system and ensure transport businesses make the most of installed systems.

Operators should be aware that:

  • CCTV footage does not equal evidence. It is important that the CCTV image is clear, and that the series of images shows that it was the suspect who committed the offence. 
  • Failure to comply with the Data Protection Act (DPA), invalidates the evidence collected and is an offence in itself for which operators can be prosecuted. 
  • CCTV equipment needs to be well maintained and sited in sufficient light to produce clear images. Date and time have to be recorded correctly.

CCTV systems that are set up perfectly, are well maintained and used appropriately can thus deter anti-social behaviour, whilst avoiding unnecessary hassle for operators when providing evidence.