South Yorkshire police patrol school buses

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POLICE have gone ‘on the buses’ to tackle problems with unruly pupils crossing the town to get to and from school.

Doncaster police have conducted 40 separate patrols over the last month to deal with issues of anti-social behaviour on buses during the morning and evening ‘school run’ and the town centre interchange.

Police officers and Community Support Officers from the Safer Neighbourhood Teams in Doncaster boarded the buses in both uniform and plain clothes, to engage with the young people and deal with any issues that occurred.

Throughout the operation, most of the young people were well behaved and only nine were dealt with for their behaviour, said a spokesman.

Six were referred for anti-social behaviour contracts, which will mean their behaviour is closely monitored for the next six months.

Another three were warned about their behaviour and the consequences should they continue to act in an anti-social manner.

The patrols also coincided with National Anti Bullying Week, and a variety of information leaflets and advice was given to pupils by officers during the journeys.

Chf Insp Neil Thomas, of Doncaster police, said: “Clearly having police officers on the buses acted as a deterrent, but pleasingly the majority of pupils were well behaved.

“Hopefully the operation has sent a clear message to pupils that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and also a reassuring message to our residents that we will deal with any concerns raised and should there be any further issues, we will repeat the operation.”

Mayor of Doncaster Peter Davies said: “Unacceptable behaviour on buses needs to be tackled and this is a good way of showing people from an early age that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.

“The safety of residents and visitors in Doncaster is a top priority and operations like this help to ensure that travelling on public transport is a safe experience for everyone.”

The transport interchange and Frenchgate Centre has also been prioritised as an action area for the Town Centre SNT during December.

A Frenchgate spokesman said there was no significant antisocial behaviour problems in the centre, which has its own team of security people, but they welcomed high profile police patrols which prevented problems.

He said only nine out of 276 recent town centre incident reports came from the Frenchgate.