Chesterfield police make safer bus journeys a priority

PCSO Becky Damms and  Hardyal Dhindsa, Derbyshires current Police and Crime Commissioner,  aim to make bus journeys safer.
PCSO Becky Damms and Hardyal Dhindsa, Derbyshires current Police and Crime Commissioner, aim to make bus journeys safer.

A safety campaign to make bus drivers and passengers feel safe when they travel is back for a second year.

As part of Operation Routemaster Officers from the local Safer Neighbourhood policing teams are including bus travel as part of their patrols, and drivers are being encouraged to report incidents such as hate crime, anti-social behaviour, criminal damage or ticket misuse.

PCSO Becky Damms is the main link from the police for Operation Routemaster in Chesterfield. She said: “By travelling on the busses and speaking to passengers, not only do we offer a visible and reassuring presence, but my colleagues and I also offer the opportunity for people to talk to us about any concerns or issues they have in an informal setting.

“We can also offer advice and if necessary, take details so that officers can visit or arrange further support if necessary. This can include any kind of crime or anti-social behaviour that they are experiencing.”

PCSO Damms, who is also on the Safer Neighbourhood policing team for Newbold, Dunston, Whittington Moor and St. Helen’s area, also regularly calls in at the Stagecoach bus depot on Sheffield Road to speak to drivers.

She added: “The operation is also there to offer to support to bus drivers, and to encourage them to report any sort of anti-social behaviour or hate crime that they might experience, and not feel that they should suffer in silence or accept incidents of that nature as part of their job.”

Operation Routemaster was first initiated last year by former Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Alan Charles and continues with the support of Hardyal Dhindsa, Derbyshire’s current commissioner.