Ticket dodgers at risk of bus police

Hopping on Police during one of the unannounced checks on Central Drive and (below) Bob Mason
Hopping on Police during one of the unannounced checks on Central Drive and (below) Bob Mason
Have your say

Passengers catching the bus will soon be joined by some unfamiliar company as police and transport bosses look to crack down on those skipping fares.

A crackdown on missing bus tickets has already taken place along Blackpool’s Central Drive, after Blackpool Transport part funded a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) to help the operation.

Bob Mason, Blackpool Transport's director of delivery

Bob Mason, Blackpool Transport's director of delivery

PCSO Joe Isaacs is based at Blackpool South Police station and is responsible for preventing, detecting and investigating crime, and assisting bus inspectors.

The most recent operation saw Blackpool Transport and Lancashire Safer Travel Unit (STU) check 39 buses and around 1,300 passengers at a checkpoint on Central Drive.

Officers found people had boarded the bus without buying a ticket, and were told to pay the fare.

PCSO Isaacs said: “The encouragement to report any issues to Blackpool Transport or STU will have instilled confidence in passengers that if anything does occur it will be dealt with efficiently and robustly.

“Revenue checks are conducted on a daily basis by Blackpool Transport inspectors, but these type of gateway operations will further provide peace of mind to regular paying customers that any ticketing issues will be dealt with.

“Operations like this will be held across the whole BTS network and conducted throughout the year.”

Bob Mason, Blackpool Transport Director of Delivery, added: “Customer and staff safety is paramount to everything we do and these type of operations demonstrate how serious we are about these.”

Police geographical inspector Matthew Wilmott said: “This was an opportunity for officers from Blackpool South Neighbourhood Policing Team to work closely with our partners at Blackpool Transport, and engage with members of the public travelling by public transport through the Bloomfield Ward, and to provide visible reassurance while dealing with anti-social behaviour.

“We will undertake similar unannounced operations with Blackpool Transport throughout the year.”