Those who attempted to dodge fares on public transport had a tough ride when the latest Gateway operation took place in Doncaster.
Gateway sees police working with bus and tram inspectors to detect and prevent fare evasion while tackling antisocial behaviour offences and building confidence across the transport network.
Last week’s operation was delivered at minimal cost thanks to the time and dedication of the Special Constabulary who gave over 130 hours to achieve some notable results:
• 312 buses stopped and checked
• 6,065 passengers given the Gateway message
• Nine stop searches for possession of drugs or forged passes
• 12 standard £35 penalty fares issued
• 22 repaid fares
• Seven mobility passes seized for misuse
• Two Fixed Penalty Notices for possession of controlled drugs
Doncaster PCSO Martin Twigg worked with ‘Revenue Inspectors’ from Stagecoach and FIRST to conduct checks at a static site on Balby Road for two hours on Monday 8 September.
Special Inspector Chris Byrne – usually a FIRST bus driver – then led a team including staff from Supertram and FIRST on four full days of activity across locations in Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster.
Sergeant Wayne Vernon, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive Liaison Officer, said: “It is important that 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 antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated on the transport network.”
Employer Supported Policing was vital to the success of the operation. Organisations sign up to this scheme to allow their employees to spend part of work time fulfilling a volunteer role as a Special Constable.
As well as Chris Byrne, another FIRST bus driver, Gareth Weatherall, and a Supertram employer, Abi Barker, lead joint lives as Specials and were released by their respective organisations for the duration of the Gateway operation.