A pilot project that will see traffic officers deployed on public transport around Essex is set to be launched this month.
Essex County Council has launched the pilot Transport Safety Officers (TSOs) initiative alongside Thurrock Council and Southend-on-Sea Council.
Six officers have now trained and began their roles this month. They aim to make public transport in the county safer.
The officers will:
- deal with low-level nuisance and disorder
- tackle Violence Against Women and Girls
- target hotspot routes and locations on public transport
- have enforcement powers. This includes the authority to issue fixed penalty notices for specific anti-social behaviours
The areas they will cover are:
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Levelling Up, Communities and Business Engagement, Councillor Louise McKinlay said: “We are pleased to launch the Transport Safety Officers initiative in Essex alongside our colleagues at Southend and Thurrock.
“We know from our own engagement with residents that safety on public transport, particularly at night, and for women, has been raised as a concern and addressing this is a priority for us.
“We hope that these officers will not only help prevent anti-social behaviour, but help passengers on public transport in Essex feel safer.
“We warmly welcome the new recruits and wish them well in their new roles. I look forward to seeing how the pilot is received by residents.”
The officers will work in close coordination with transport operators and law enforcement.
They will also host local events near to their local transport hubs. The events will cover a variety of issues and themes.
The initiative aligns with broader government commitments to enhance public transport services, said the council.