Safer Travel officers on patrol for Christmas rush

Police presence means safer festive city centre shopping.

As the Christmas shopping season hits top gear in Birmingham city centre officers from the Safer Travel Partnership will be out and about to make sure people get there safely.

Operation Snow has been launched to help the millions of people expected to visit the shops and the hugely popular German Market.

Run by the Safer Travel Partnership and British Transport Police, Operation Snow will operate over the peak festive shopping period and end with the closure of the German Market on December 22nd.

Last year nearly five million people visited the market, with a similar amount expected this year. Officers will be deployed at peak times at New Street, Moor Street and Snow Hill stations plus key bus routes around the city centre to assist travellers and help with any crime prevention advice. They will also be on hand to deter and deal with crime and anti-social behaviour.

Sgt Ben Westwood of the Safer Travel Partnership said: “In previous years we have seen offending and poor behaviour linked to things like heavy alcohol consumption. Our aim is to reduce this as well as ensure that Birmingham’s public transport is a safe and enjoyable way to travel into the city centre.”

Passengers are advised to allow more time for their journey into and out of Birmingham due to the increased level of footfall around the city centre, especially at New Street Station.

Network Rail said around 180,000 people use the station every day over the run-up to Christmas so to keep people safe, crowd control measures will be in place as people move between the concourse area and platforms.

The Safer Travel Partnership comprises Centro, the region’s public transport authority, British Transport Police, West Midlands Police and transport operators. It works to keep the public transport network safe and make people feel safe when using it through gathering intelligence to identify areas that may be vulnerable to crime, anti social behaviour and nuisance behaviour.