A crackdown on inconsiderate and anti-social behaviour on buses in Brighton & Hove is being launched on Monday, 25 February. A new text message service, Operation Blakey, has been set up to make it quick and easy for passengers to report problems on the city’s buses.
People will be able to report rowdy or nuisance behaviour simply by texting ‘REPORT’ to 60060, with a description of the incident.
The campaign – named after Inspector Blakey from the classic TV comedy On The Buses – is organised by the city’s Partnership Community Safety Team, which includes Brighton & Hove City Council, the police and other partners, in conjunction with Brighton & Hove Bus Company.
The people who misbehave on the buses are often the same people who shoplift and cause trouble in the city centre. Information collected on these individuals will all be compiled to help build a body of evidence that may ultimately be use to issue Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs).
Organisers stress the text service is not intended to replace a 999 call – in an emergency passengers should still contact the police or alert the bus driver.
However it will help people who are bothered by, for example, rowdy behaviour, name calling or other verbal abuse, but might not otherwise have got round to reporting it.
Roger French, managing director of Brighton & Hove Bus Company, said: "We are very pleased to be involved in this excellent initiative. Although anti-social behaviour on our buses by a small minority is not common, when it does happen it causes upset and annoyance for other passengers as well as our staff and we are determined to work with partners to stamp it out."
Chief Superintendent Paul Pearce of Brighton & Hove police said: “People have the right to feel safe in their communities, whether in their homes, in public spaces or travelling on the bus. It is unacceptable for people to be afraid because they feel threatened by other individuals' behaviour. It affects the quality of life for people visiting, living and trading within the city. By having a single point of contact for bus customers to report such behaviour, we will be able to identify problems and deal with such issues effectively."
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