Officers on the buses

PUBLISHED: 03:55 14 December 2006 | UPDATED: 10:21 24 May 2010

POLICE officers in Avon and Somerset are being given free bus passes in an attempt to increase security on public transport. Travel giant First has seconded Sergeant

POLICE officers in Avon and Somerset are being given free bus passes in an attempt to increase security on public transport.Travel giant First has seconded Sergeant Nigel Chapman to travel on its buses and keep passengers safe after a spate of attacks on its vehicles.The Weston & Somerset Mercury reported last week that buses had stopped travelling along Wansbrough Road, Magdalen Way and St Marks Road in Worle because they were being shot at.As one of his first tasks, Sgt Chapman has arranged for the passes to be given out so that even when officers are off duty they can act as travelling security.Sgt Chapman is based in Bristol but will cover Weston and Worle. He is working with a 'gateway' team of bus inspectors and police officers. The team will travel on buses and also check tickets and keep a look out for children playing truant at the same time. As part of the latest initiative Sgt Chapman will also go into schools across the area and show youngsters videos and give talks on the effects of antisocial behaviour and vandalism.He said: "Thousands of people travel in and around the region on First's buses every day. The aim of my new role is to work closely with First to improve the safety of their passengers and staff. "As well as carrying out patrols on the buses, I am developing better communication links with First to identify problem crime areas and any passenger or staff concerns."Police are still appealing for witnesses after the shootings which took place between 6pm-midnight on November 24 and then again on November 26.Windows in the buses were damaged and police think an airgun may have been used.

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