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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 November 2006, 16:57 GMT
CCTV on buses hits vandal attacks
CCTV footage from Operation BusTag
There are 60,000 CCTV cameras on London's 8,000 bus fleet
More than 1,200 people have been arrested for vandalism since recordable CCTV was brought in on London's buses.

Since Operation BusTag was introduced in 2004 more than 90% of those caught writing graffiti, damaging seats and lighting fires have been convicted.

The partnership between the Metropolitan Police and Transport for London (TfL) saw recordable CCTV installed on London's 8,000 buses.

A team of 70 watch thousands of hours of footage to identify alleged crimes.

Being watched

The Metropolitan Police said they did not have comparable figures for bus vandalism before 2004.

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: "We are cracking down on crime and anti-social behaviour on our transport system. Transport for London and the police are working together to see that every passenger has a safe journey to and from home."

Images caught on camera are sent to police stations, schools and newspapers by the team in an effort to identify the perpetrators.

Met police Ch Supt Michael Humphrey said: "This is a significant achievement by BusTag and demonstrates that people who commit acts of vandalism on London buses will be caught with the help of CCTV pictures and then prosecuted."

The scheme has made buses safer for London's 6.3 million passengers according to Jeroen Weimar, TfL's director of Transport Policing and Enforcement.

He said: "Graffiti and etching on buses creates an intimidating atmosphere for passengers and increases the fear of crime. Those people intent on causing criminal damage should be warned - you are being watched."

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