CCTV cameras installed on London bus stops as part of trial

The cameras will retain recordings for 31 days to support police investigations, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Bus stop with CCTV (credit TfL)
Bus stop with CCTV (credit TfL)

Specially-designed CCTV cameras are being trialled at bus shelters across London in a bid to improve safety.

It comes as Transport for London (TfL) revealed that it has also hired 15 enforcement officers to make night patrols across its services.

The first of the new CCTV cameras, which are designed to integrate into the shelters themselves, was installed earlier this week at Peckham Library’s bus stop.

Four further shelters at Finsbury Park, Turnpike Lane, Gants Hill and Stratford City will soon receive their own cameras, with TfL hoping to extend the trial to 20 shelters later this year. The cameras will retain recordings for 31 days to support police investigations.

Meanwhile, new night enforcement officers began their patrols in January, and in their first four weeks removed 47 passengers who were refusing to follow TfL’s rules, behaving obstructively or threatening staff. A further 82 customers were denied access to the network in the first place because of their behaviour.

TfL said the officers have also provided safeguarding assistance to 41 passengers – including by helping one man who reported feeling suicidal; challenging another man who was harassing a female passenger; and by ensuring that a third man who fell down an escalator received medical attention.

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The news from TfL comes in the same week that Sadiq Khan’s opponents took aim at the mayor’s record in tackling crime on public transport.

Tory mayoral candidate Susan Hall pledged to appoint a “women’s commissioner” and target sexual harassment on the tube, while Lib Dem candidate Rob Blackie revealed data showing a 58% rise in reported offences on public transport since 2016, the year that the Labour mayor took office.

Khan’s transport deputy, Seb Dance, said: “We want everyone to feel safe and be safe when travelling around London at all times, and it is the mayor’s top priority to ensure the transport network is a safe and low-crime environment.

“That’s why we’re really pleased TfL’s enforcement officers have begun patrolling the network at night. These specially trained officers will not only provide reassurance to those travelling at night, they will help to tackle anti-social behaviour, work-related violence and aggression and support TfL frontline staff.

“These patrols will help to ensure the network is secure and welcoming round the clock, supporting the mayor’s aim to continue building a safer London for everyone.”

TfL pointed out that it already provides funding for 2,500 police and community support officers dedicated to the transport network, and has more than 500 enforcement staff who work during the day.

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