Centro step up public transport security

Operation Goliath targets Halloween and Bonfire Night anti-social behaviour.

Police will be taking to the public transport network in a high-profile operation targeting anti-social behaviour over Halloween and Bonfire Night.

Operation Goliath will see officers from the Safer Travel team mount extra patrols on board buses, trains and trams across the West Midlands from Friday October 31st to Sunday November 9th.

The operation will target areas identified as vulnerable to suffering anti-social behaviour, with a mixture of foot and mobile patrols responding quickly to real time issues identified by drivers and passengers. Uniformed police from the partnership will travel on all modes of public transport, supported by officers from British Transport and West Midlands police forces, across the region.

Inspector Lee Gordon of the Safer Travel Partnership said: “We are not out to spoil people having fun, we want people to use public transport and enjoy the period. It is important to remember that crime is down on public transport and that the network in the West Midlands is a very safe way of getting about but we know instances of ASB and crime can occur from a minority of passengers at this time of year.”

Total recorded crime on public transport in the West Midlands fell by 7.5 per cent between 2011 and 2014. However the time of year around Halloween and Bonfire Night often sees a rise in complaints about anti-social behaviour.

Passenger surveys have found nuisance behaviour such as playing loud music and smoking are key irritants that can also lead to an unfounded fear of crime.To address this, officers will speak to passengers advising them about how crime has fallen on the network and how they can use the See Something Say Something scheme to anonymously play their part in tackling nuisance behaviour.

Insp Gordon said: “Operation Goliath aims to see as many uniforms from the Partnership on the transport network engaging with passengers and staff but also challenging and dealing robustly with such behaviour.”

Under See Something Say Something passengers who see any nuisance behaviour during their journey can say something by texting ‘bus’, ‘metro’ or ‘rail’ followed by a space and then details of the incident including time, date, location and route number to 83010.

Alternatively they can give details by logging on to the www.safertravel.info website or by telephoning police on 101 for bus and 0800 405040 for rail and Metro. In the case of an urgent crime or an emergency they should dial 999 as usual.

The Safer Travel Partnership consists of Centro, West Midlands Police, British Transport Police and transport operators.

See Something, Say Something was launched in 2008. Since then thousands of passengers have used the system to provide crucial information that has enabled the Safer Travel Partnership to pinpoint crime and anti-social behaviour hot spots and take appropriate action.

The Safer Travel Partnership also works with schools across the region to raise awareness among pupils about personal safety and the effects of nuisance behaviour and crime.