Fare dodgers targeted

Buses on Sheffield's High Street
Buses on Sheffield's High Street
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More than 300 buses were stopped by police across Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster during a week-long clampdown on fare dodging.

Officers issued £35 fines to people found on buses and trams who had not paid their fares during the crackdown operation known as Gateway.

Police also seized misused passes and conducted searches for people suspected of possessing drugs.

A total of 22 people were made to repay fares and 12 passengers were issued with fines.

Seven mobility passes were seized for misuse, while nine people were searched for possession of forged passes or drugs.

Two people were given fixed penalty notices for drug possession.

Doncaster PCSO Martin Twigg worked with ‘revenue inspectors’ from Stagecoach and First travel companies to conduct checks. Police specials – volunteer officers with the same powers as regular police – also took part in the operation.

And ‘special inspector’ Chris Byrne – usually a First bus driver – led a team including staff from Supertram and First on four days of activity across Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster.

Sergeant Wayne Vernon, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive’s liaison officer, said: “It is important we continue to conduct Gateway operations to support bus and tram staff in their place of work, and to show the public that fare evasion, criminal activity and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.”

He warned fare dodgers: “If you are thinking of fare evading, you are not going to get away with it. Every bus has CCTV on board with very clear images and all anti-social or criminal behaviour is recorded.

“It’s an ongoing partnership between police specials and the SYPTE to tackle not just fare evasion but people being anti-social on public transport too.

“We want the public to feel safe, to protect children and vulnerable people, and to improve public confidence and reassure people we are carrying out checks.”