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West Midlands police get app to enforce face covering rule


Mark Say Managing Editor

The West Midlands Safer Travel Partnership has provided police and community support officers with an app for dealing with passengers without face coverings on public transport.

Two police officers from behind

It has been developed specifically for recording the details of passengers directed to leave buses, and should enable police community support officers and constables to identify any who repeatedly ignore the regulations.

It records any intervention by the officer, such as a brief lecture or the issue of a fixed penalty notice, along with time and location. This can be added to the transport operator’s data to help them focus resources.

The move is part of the effort to enforce the Government’s regulations on people wearing face coverings on public transport during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Safer Travel Partnership includes West Midlands Police, British Transport Police, Transport for West Midlands and the public transport operators, and has developed the app as part of an effort to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour on trains and buses.

It has published a one-year Safer Travel Plan that includes using smartphone applications and 5G networks, deploying mobile technology and optimising the use of CCTV and automatic number plate recognition systems.

Tech investment

David Jamieson, police and crime commissioner for the region, said: “This plan highlights that we are continuing to invest in technology to keep passengers safe and the Partnership is expanding the CCTV network across the transport system.

“Throughout the pandemic use of public transport has fallen. Through the Safer Travel Partnership we must ensure that the use of buses, trains and trams is safe. Over the past few weeks Safer Travel officers have been working hard to ensure that people are travelling with a face covering.”

Image from West Midlands Combined Authority

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