A new team of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) dedicated to West Yorkshire’s bus network are now being introduced. With £1m in funding from the West Yorkshire Mayor’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), 15 full time PCSOs will patrol bus stations and buses across the county.
The Safer Travel PCSOs aim to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, increase the safety of women and girls, and reassure and protect more vulnerable travel users. The team is overseen by a Police Sergeant and supported by the local authorities, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and bus operators.
The new PCSOs join a range of improvements across the bus network to increase safety, including:
- 24/7 CCTV recorded CCTV, which is monitored by LeedsWatch at 27 bus stations across the region. LeedsWatch will alert the police or bus station staff to incidents, such as anti-social behaviour as required and regularly provide evidence packages to the police to assist with successful prosecution of offenders.
- Dedicated help points in unstaffed bus stations which have already been used in medical emergencies.
- All West Yorkshire Bus Stations are registered Safe Places, offering help if someone is anxious or feels vulnerable while they are out and about.
- Bus station staff receive conflict management training to minimise disruption and safety concerns for passengers.
Assistant Chief Constable Sarah Baker of West Yorkshire Police said: “We are delighted that we have the uplift of 15 Police Community Support Officers, dedicated to making our buses and bus stations safer across West Yorkshire.
“Reducing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour, making the streets safer for women and girls and protecting vulnerable travel users are all key priorities for the force.
“These PCSOs will act as a reassuring presence to people who travel on the bus network.”