The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, led by Mayor James Palmer, worked with Stagecoach and Cambridgeshire police to bring about the arrests of people vandalising buses in Cambridge, by masterminding the idea of a ‘Trojan Bus’, a normal bus running not in service containing plain clothes police offers, able to draw up alongside people unnoticed.
After reports that buses were being diverted off the guided Busway South of the City due to a dozen buses having their windows smashed by vandals, the Combined Authority decided to take action in reaching out to the Cambridgeshire police to propose the idea of a ‘Trojan Bus’, which Stagecoach provided, that would help plain clothes police officers to make necessary arrests.
Travelling in the Trojan Bus, the police were able to make arrests of people participating in anti-social behaviour and breaching nationally set Covid-19 restrictions.
The Cambridgeshire police will continue to work with Stagecoach and other bus companies, to patrol the buses and on foot along the guided busway and Trumpington areas in uniform and plain clothes, in response to reports of robberies, criminal damage and anti-social behaviour on the buses and are keen to use the concept of a Trojan bus again in the future.
Mayor James Palmer said:
“This is a great example of local organisations working together in the interests of the public. Anti-social behaviour on our public transport will not be tolerated, and I am glad that we were able to help restore safety to the bus network. Buses are a vital part of our community and I would like to thank our local police and Stagecoach for their work in bringing peace of mind to the public.”
Sergeant Kiri Mazur, Cambridgeshire Police, said:
“Officers from the local Neighbourhood Team were delighted to be able to work with Stagecoach in this way, and are also grateful to the Combined Authority for their assistance with organising the patrol. We hope that this work has reassured the community and the bus companies of our commitment to tackling anti-social behaviour in the area, and we look forward to working alongside Stagecoach again in future.”
Michelle Hargreaves, Managing Director for Stagecoach East said:
“Following the recent incidents of vandalism on our buses, we worked alongside Cambridgeshire Police to provide one of our buses to assist in a covert operation. We will continue to work closely with the police to aid their ongoing investigation. We want to thank all our staff involved in safely carrying out this operation, particularly our Busway Driver on the night, Alex Vose who volunteered to help with the initiative. The safety of our drivers and customers is of the upmost importance and acts of vandalism will not be tolerated.”
Roger Birch, Whippet General Manager, said:
“We are very grateful for everyone’s input in assisting to restore public confidence and helping to keep our customers and drivers safe. We will continue to support any initiatives to bring an end to this dangerous and mindless vandalism.”