Transport Watch launched in Hertfordshire

TAXI and bus drivers are being asked to be the police’s eyes and ears as part of a new initiative to make using transportation links safer.

The Transport Watch scheme has seen 115 companies county-wide sign up to form a Neighbourhood Watch-style protection system, in a bid to reduce crime.

Photos of potential problem passengers will be circulated, as well as alerts of areas/addresses which may be unsafe to visit.

Every company involved will be provided free publicity stickers for the vehicles, which is hoped will help to prevent fare-dodging and violence against drivers

In return, the firms will help the police by aiding them with tracing missing people, alerting the force of unlicensed mini-cabs, as well as letting them know about witnessed crime and anti-social behaviour.

The scheme was the idea of chief inspector Paul Williamson, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s crime reduction and community engagement unit, as well as Neighbourhood Watch project officer David Aylett.

Insp Williamson said: “This watch, building on the already successful Neighbourhood Watch, will help reduce crime on Hertfordshire’s transport networks and, in some cases, prevent it altogether from happening.

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“It will make journeys safer for both passengers and drivers, while also asking them to help us solve crime.”

Taxi and bus companies can still sign up to the scheme via the Online Watch Link (OWL).

A dedicated users’ Transport Watch will be launched later this year, for residents who regularly use public transport.