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Bus drivers equipped with spit kits to crackdown on ASB
5:00pm Sunday 6th January 2013 in Local
BOROUGH bus drivers have been equipped with ‘mini DNA kits’ to help police track anyone who spits at them or fellow passengers.
Spit kits – which feature swabs, gloves and hermetically sealed bags – allow staff to take saliva samples and protect them from contamination before being sent for forensic analysis.
The initiative has been introduced by the Safer Travel Partnership as latest figures reveal 88 spitting incidents have been reported on regional buses over the last 12 months.
National Express West Midlands’ has supplied all of its 3,500 regional drivers with the kits following a successful trial in Birmingham City Centre.
Pc Sarah Hipkins, said: “Spitting is a disgusting, despicable offence and we will push for common assault charges against offenders.
“This type of DNA processing has been used on the railway previously and our trial has been successful. Drivers and passengers should not be expected to tolerate it on our bus routes and these spit kit devices allow us to obtain irrefutable DNA evidence which helps us track offenders and secure convictions at court.”
Passengers who witness anti-social behaviour during their public transport journey can also report it anonymously by texting the word ‘bus’, ‘metro’ or ‘rail’ followed by a space and then details of the incident including time, date, location and route number to 83010.