Bus journeys are likely to be more bearable from now on, with the news that teams of hundreds of uniformed police will patrol London’s stations and routes to tackle crime and other anti-social behaviour.
The Met says 440 uniformed officers will be used to establish the new teams. Each team will be made up of one sergeant, one police constable and seven police community support officers. They will be supported by 1,600 special constables.
According to the BBC, there were 5,701 reports of crime on buses in 2007, compared to 3,666 the previous year.
I would like to think we’ll see some of the new teams at Barking, Stratford and, please please, Ilford.
At this stage it is unclear what will happen to the culprits that get up to no good on buses and trains. Will the police teams slap them with the normal on-the-spot fine or arrest and jail them, if necessary?
Already the Telegraph has put dampers on the latter prospect – it reports that for every 50 youngsters arrested for carrying a sharp knife, only one was jailed.
Now, if youngsters are let off for carrying knives, how much more for being rowdy or violent on a bus?
It has been said that if they are teenagers, they will lose their right to free travel. But how can that be effective when you get routes like the bendy bus 25, where commuters can get on and off without paying?
However, notwithstanding the hazy bits of this new development, it’s still a welcome move to know that we’ll have police on the trains and buses in these parts of town.
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