‘We cannot tolerate this kind of dangerous behaviour on our vehicles’ – youngsters ‘bus jumping’ in Exeter sparks Stagecoach warning

Stagecoach has warned incidents of youngsters jumping on and clinging to moving buses in Exeter may force it to withdraw services in some areas.

The company’s Devon boss told councillors last month he was aware of problems in the Mincinglake part of the city.

Youths are said to be climbing onto the back of the vehicles and hanging on as they travel, writes Local Democracy Reporter Ollie Heptinstall.

Managing director Mike Watson said ‘antisocial behaviour’ meant it was adapting the back of buses to stop people from being able to ‘get their fingers in the boot’.

A Stagecoach spokesperson said it is working with police to share information and is ‘talking to community leaders with regard to these incidents’.

They also warned: “We are keen to ensure we are not forced to pull services out of certain areas at night, however, we cannot tolerate this kind of dangerous behaviour on our vehicles.

“The safety of our staff and passengers is our highest priority.

“As an additional measure, our engineering teams have installed specially-designed fixtures to the backs of our buses preventing the ability of these individuals to take hold.”

The issue was initially raised by Pinhoe and Mincinglake representative Councillor Tracy Adams at a meeting of the Exeter highways and Traffic Orders Committee last month.

Ms Adams said a number of reports of such incidents involving young people had been reported in Mincinglake and it is a safety issue.

Mr Watson acknowledged the problem, telling councillors he believed police had taken action on a number of incidents.

He added: “We need that to continue to be honest with you, because this is antisocial behaviour that comes from the local community.

“And if the local community is essentially not adhering to the law, then we collectively have a problem.”

A sDevon and Cornwall Police spokesperson said: “The Exeter neighbourhood policing team is working in collaboration with Stagecoach in order to reduce and prevent these incidents from occurring.

“Officers have taken action by working with partner agencies to issue antisocial behaviour agreements to some of the individuals involved.

“The neighbourhood team has also been liaising with Stagecoach at both a local and national level with a view of crime prevention initiatives to prevent individuals from being able to climb on the buses.”

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