THIS week sees the launch of new Transport Safety Officers across public transport in Essex, Thurrock and Southend.
This pilot, developed in collaboration between Thurrock Council, Southend-on-Sea City Council, and councils under Essex County Council, has received funding from Department for Transport (DfT), totalling £490,000.
The Transport Safety Officers will work in close coordination with transport operators including c2c, Ensign Buses, Greater Anglia along with other law enforcement agencies such as British Transport Police and Essex Police, to patrol targeted routes and locations, addressing antisocial behaviour and promoting safety for all passengers.
The officers have all received specialist training and will work to improve safety with an emphasis on engagement and education. However, they will also hold the power to issue fixed penalty notices in response to certain antisocial behaviour offences such as disorder, smoking, littering and graffiti at certain bus stations across Essex. The officers will also be providing visible reassurance regarding violence against women and girls.
Cllr Andrew Jefferies, Leader of Thurrock Council, joined Transport Safety Officers as they got ready for their first day on patrol.
Cllr Jefferies said: “These officers will be a friendly and reassuring presence on public transport across wider Essex. They will be working to help keep passengers safe and public transport free of anti-social behaviour.
“This pilot has been funded by the Department for Transport and sees Thurrock Council and Essex local authorities working together. It is welcome on the borough, and beyond, and I look forward to seeing the Transport Safety Officers out on patrol.”