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Last Updated: Friday, 3 June, 2005, 19:26 GMT 20:26 UK
Police patrols to go on the buses
Police officers are to launch patrols on buses to prevent trouble from rowdy passengers in South Tyneside.

It follows a number of incidents including an assault on a bus driver, verbal abuse and stones being thrown, smashing bus windows.

CCTV cameras are also being used to gather evidence of anti-social behaviour in view of prosecution.

Police said incidents of violence has resulted in a fall in the numbers of elderly people using buses.

Customer confidence

Northumbria Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) will travel on the buses as part of The Party's Over initiative to cut drunkenness, violence and disorder.

Ch Insp Dave Metcalfe said: "We take these reports seriously and by having a regular uniformed presence on buses we aim to effectively tackle this problem."

PCSOs in East Shields will travel in problem areas, including the Horsley Hill route through to Lonnen, at peak times for problems, including schools buses and late-night buses bringing drinkers home from town centres.

Mr Metcalfe said: "Uniformed police staff travelling on public transport will reassure passengers and will help us gather intelligence about troublemakers."

Brian Sleightholme, Operations Manager of Stagecoach, said: "PCSOs travelling on buses will give our customers more confidence in using our services."

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