Drivers are being equipped with specialist DNA packs in order to aid them when dealing with antisocial behaviour, such as spitting.
The ‘spit kits’ are now being handed out to all National Express West Midlands drivers, in association with the Safer Travel Partnership.
This comes after 16 offences were reported in five weeks in spring, 14 of which were against drivers.
Through using the ‘spit kit’ a passenger who spat at a bus driver was jailed after the bus driver swabbed the spittle.
Speaking about tackling antisocial behaviour on buses, Inspector Rachel Crump, policing lead for the Safer Travel Partnership said: “We welcome the increased roll out of spit kits to help identify offenders.
“The DNA samples along with high-definition CCTV on-board all 1,600 National Express West Midlands vehicles − with some vehicles fitted with up to 12 cameras − means there’s a strong chance offenders will be caught. Anti-social behaviour and crime captured on CCTV from National Express West Midlands buses has already resulted in a 75% success rate in identifying offenders.
“Our officers are provided with spit guards to help protect against this disgusting crime and we encourage the use of the kits by our transport partners to also protect them on their duties.
“The kits are so simple to use and have led to some excellent results for us − and offenders must understand it won’t be tolerated and they risk being jailed.”
David Bradford, National Express UK Bus Managing Director, added: “Our staff have the right to work without being spat on and we will pursue anyone who is guilty of this heinous and disgusting behaviour.
“As recent results show, our CCTV footage and DNA spit kits are a simple but effective way of helping Safer Travel Police track these people down, stop them and make sure they face justice.”
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