New CCTV installed at London bus stops with TfL night patrols launched to tackle violence

By Staff

Transport for London (TfL) and the Metropolitan Police Service are commencing a trial of specially designed CCTV cameras at bus shelters to ‘prevent and detect crime and anti-social behaviour’. Transport Support and Enforcement (TSE) officers have also begun night patrols across the network, including on the London Underground, to ‘provide reassurance’ to customers travelling at night as well as to TfL workers.

CCTV is being installed at an initial five bus shelters in the coming weeks, extending to 20 bus shelters later this year, officials say. Only the Met will have access to camera feeds, TfL says, as the force is the data controller and all privacy implications will be covered by the existing Met DPIA (data protection impact assessment) for mobile cameras.

The results of the trial will be used to evaluate the costs and the feasibility of a wider rollout of CCTV cameras to other locations in London, bosses say. TSE staff are also being deployed to ‘priority locations’ to help tackle anti-social behaviour, work-related violence and aggression and to support frontline colleagues, officials say.

READ MORE: ‘Gentle soul’ Tube driver dies suddenly at work after kissing daughters goodnight

In the first four weeks of deployment, TfL says TSE officers have removed 47 passengers who were ‘refusing to comply with the rules and regulations of the network’ and were ‘obstructive or threatened’ TfL staff. They have also reportedly dealt with another 132 customers for byelaw breaches, who were reported for prosecution, and denied 82 customers access to the network because of their behaviour.

TfL adds that officers engaged with 424 customers who accepted advice and guidance and adapted their behaviour to be able to continue their journeys. Bosses say the staff play a key safeguarding role to ensure the safety of vulnerable people and have provided safeguarding assistance to 41 passengers in this capacity.

Officers helped man ‘feeling suicidal’

This has included an incident where officers provided reassurance and help to a man to who was found distressed while travelling at night and reported ‘feeling suicidal’. Further, TfL says TSE officers stepped in to challenge a man who was ‘harassing a female passenger and making her feel uncomfortable’.

The new team also provided assistance to a man who fell down the escalators at a Tube station and ensured that he received medical attention for his injuries.

The deputy mayor for transport, Seb Dance, said: “We want everyone to feel safe and be safe when travelling around London at all times, and it is the Mayor’s top priority to ensure the transport network is a safe and low-crime environment.

“That’s why we’re really pleased TfL’s enforcement officers have begun patrolling the network at night. These specially trained officers will not only provide reassurance to those travelling at night, they will help to tackle anti-social behaviour, work-related violence and aggression and support TfL frontline staff.

“These patrols will help to ensure the network is secure and welcoming round the clock, supporting the Mayor’s aim to continue building a safer London for everyone.”

CCTV will play ‘vital role’ in tackling sexual offences and violence against women and girls

Siwan Hayward, TfL’s Director of Security, Policing and Enforcement, said: “The safety of our customers and staff is our top priority and we want to ensure that every mode on our network is a beacon of safety for everyone. CCTV plays a crucial role in both crime prevention and investigation.

“This camera trial with the Met will inform our plans for the best ways to improve the safety and security of our customers, staff and infrastructure. We have also already seen incredible results from our new night enforcement officers over the last month who play an important role supporting our frontline colleagues in busy locations and safeguarding role to our most vulnerable customers, and we are pleased to be able to offer this support through the night.

“We’d like to thank the Met for their work in designing this camera for bus shelters, which will play a vital role in tackling crime, including tackling sexual offences and violence against women and girls. We are committed to keeping customers and staff safe and will continue to work closely with the police to ensure that our transport network remains a welcoming environment to work and travel.”

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