REVEALED: Bus crime hotspots of South Yorkshire

city centre buses
city centre buses

Sheffield city centre is the bus crime hotspot of South Yorkshire – with 76 offences in three years, new figures show.

Police and transport chiefs have pledged to continue to tackle anti-social behaviour and crime on buses – saying passenger safety is a top priority.

Bus timetable and route changes cause chaos for travellers in Sheffield'Picture Dean Atkins

Bus timetable and route changes cause chaos for travellers in Sheffield'Picture Dean Atkins


EDITOR’S OPINION: Bus crime approach just isn’t working

Bus chiefs and police have been working together for almost a decade to tackle the problem in South Yorkshire.

South Yorkshire Police joined forces with public transport providers and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive in 2006 to try to reduce crime.

A force spokesman said: “Public transport partners collectively fund a police sergeant’s position within the community safety department through their Travel Master Fund.

“This collaboration works to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and help promote the safe transport experience on transport networks by publicising good news and innovations and reducing the fear of crime.

“There is no one area more problematic than other. Because of the effective working relationship between police and partners, if problems do emerge they are responded to and dealt with quickly.

“Our work will continue to seek out new and innovative ideas to build on this partnership.”

The officer is responsible for issues including creating strategies to prevent and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and helping operators to deal with issues on school buses.

New Freedom of Information Act figures reveal 763 crimes were recorded on buses and coaches in South Yorkshire between 2012 and 2014.

The city centre, Parson Cross, Highfield, Burngreave and Darnall were the main hotspots for crimes on buses.

In Doncaster, the worst places were Conisbrough, the town centre, Rossington and Mexborough.

The hotspots in Rotherham were Wath-upon-Dearne, Maltby, the town centre and Dinnington, while in Barnsley they are Goldthorpe, Wombwell and Grimethorpe.

The figures obtained show 247 crimes were recorded in 2012, 243 in 2013 and 273 in 2014.

In 122 of the cases, South Yorkshire Police completed an investigation but could not identify a suspect.

The most common offence was criminal damage to vehicles – with 235 offences reported over the three year period, following by more than 200 offences of theft.

Assault causing injury totalled 78, with assaults without injury reaching 75.

There was also 33 incidents of causing public fear, alarm or distress and 30 offences of sexual assault on a female aged 13 or over.

Other crimes recorded include exposure and voyeurism, racially or religiously aggravated assault and possession of drugs.

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive stressed that passenger and staff safety was its priority.

He said: “Passenger and staff safety is our upmost priority and we continue to work closely with South Yorkshire Police, British Transport Police and public transport operators to help prevent incidents of crime on public transport.”

A spokesman for First South Yorkshire said: “First South Yorkshire is dedicated to improving safety for all customers, staff and road-users.

“Although anti-social behaviour incidents do tend to be rare we will always work hard with our partners to address any issues quickly to keep public transport safe.

“Our experience across the UK shows us that by working in partnership with local agencies we can make a real difference in getting to the root cause of these incidents and using investigative techniques such as review of CCTV and increased police patrols.

“In South Yorkshire we work closely with a police transport liaison sergeant which has helped reduce acts of vandalism by 30% across Sheffield.

“The work to reduce anti-social behaviour has also been recognised with a national award.”