Children 'as young as 12' suspected to be throwing missiles at Sheffield buses and taxis
Children as young as 12 are suspected to have been throwing missiles such as bricks at Sheffield buses and taxis.
Vandals are believed to have attacked buses and taxis for up to five nights in a row last week.
Trouble first flared on Tuesday, when services were suspended in Gleadless Valley because youths were lobbing bricks at buses.
The following night, Stagecoach Yorkshire said services in Batemoor and Jordanthorpe were affected by ‘multiple attempts of vandalism to buses’.
Services were diverted away from Blackstock Road in Gleadless Valley on Thursday and Friday due to more anti-social behaviour and what travel operator First South Yorkshire described as ‘further acts of vandalism’.
Police said they were also called out to deal with an incident in Leighton Road, Gleadless Valley, on Saturday night which ‘may or may not be related’ to the vandalism.
In addition two taxis have also been damaged.
It is believed vandals aged as young as 12 could be involved in the attacks and police are urging them to stop immediately.
Inspector Colette Fitzgibbons, of the Sheffield South West Neighbourhood Team, said: “The information suggests that it is young people who are involved in throwing missiles such as bricks.
“I issued a section 35 dispersal order on Saturday to assist staff with dispersing youths in the area. We took two youths home on Saturday night. They are from the Gleadless area.
“One of the young people stopped was only 12-years-old so a key message is:- ‘Do you know where your children are and what they are up to?
“They may not be involved in causing the problems but they may get caught up in the behaviour or challenged to join in so please make sure you look after your children.
“I am sure you can all appreciate that if missiles are being through towards vehicles, this could result in serious injury to numerous people.”
Acting Sergeant Brendan White added: "Aside from the damage these actions cause to vehicles, throwing objects could potentially cause injury if they hit someone, and has the potential to cause a serious incident if the driver is distracted or loses control of their vehicle."I would urge parents to warn their children about the dangers of throwing objects and the consequences this behaviour could bring."
Matt Davies, managing director of Stagecoach Yorkshire, echoed the police warning.
He said: “We have been working very closely with local police and other bus operators as part of the dedicated Travelsafe team to ensure the safety of our staff and passengers which is always our number one priority. Over recent days extra patrols have taken place to try to address these issues.
“Adjusting services really is a last resort and we would ask our local communities to remain vigilant and report any information that may assist police enquiries.
Our bus services are vital to many people in the local area for essential journeys. We understand how important it is to the local community that these are able to be maintained and we are very keen to do that.
“We are asking for the support of the community in helping us address this problem. The perpetrators will be local and someone will know those responsible. Any information can be passed to the Police, anonymously if desired.”