Nottingham City Transport’s Trojan Bus has been out and about again recently and is one measure that has contributed to a sharp decline in the number of stone throwing incidents targeting buses.
The Trojan Bus – which is an ordinary NCT bus, but with plainclothes Police officers on board – travelled around Nottingham, including the Bilborough and Broxtowe areas, following a number of recent smashed bus window incidents in the area.
Four youngsters – aged between 12 and 16 – from the area have been identified by Nottinghamshire Police for throwing objects at buses and smashing windows. There were no injuries in these incidents, but the families are now paying over £1,000 for the damage and repair to the buses.
Alongside deploying the Trojan Bus, NCT visits schools on a regular basis through the TravelSafe initiative, educating pupils about safe travel and the consequences of vandalism. This combined effort and partnership with Nottinghamshire Police has seen smashed windows reduce by 80% in the last 13 years to around 40 a year now.
Anthony Carver-Smith, NCT Marketing Manager commented, “It is important to stress that the likelihood of being on a bus where a window is smashed is exceptionally rare and our partnership work with Nottinghamshire Police has seen an 80% reduction in the number of vandalised buses since Trojan Bus was introduced. We will continue to work together to further reduce these incidents and the recent identification of four youngsters for vandalism demonstrates this is being taken very seriously”.
Inspector Gordon Fenwick, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “We take reports of damage and antisocial behaviour on the public transport system seriously and work closely with our partners at NCT to identify and deal with offenders. Throwing objects at bus windows is extremely dangerous and could cause serious injury. We will be conducting more plain clothes operations in the future to keep our buses safe.”