Full bus routes have resumed in Kirkby following disruption to services caused by anti-social behaviour.
Merseyside Police have worked with Knowsley Council’s Safer Communities Partnership and bus operators Stagecoach to tackle crime on the buses and transport links in Kirkby.
Recent reports of criminal damage to Stagecoach buses in Kirkby resulted in a number of bus services being disrupted.
This included an incident on Wellfield Avenue at 4pm on Saturday 16 January, in which a brick was thrown at a bus, causing damage to the window.
In response, officers from Merseyside Police conducted an operation using both marked and unmarked police cars as well as travelling on various buses to help tackle the issue.
Inspector Dave Morgan from the Kirkby Policing Team, said: “Working with our partners is hugely important, especially when they are victims of criminal activity.
“Bus drivers have been working throughout the pandemic and are vital in allowing other key workers to get to and from work as well as children who might be travelling to schools. By throwing something at a bus or any vehicle for that matter, is hugely dangerous and puts people at significant risk.
“We will continue supporting Stagecoach and Knowsley Council to ensure the safe running of all services and I would continue to urge anyone in the community who sees someone involved in this stupid and dangerous behaviour to get in touch so we can put a stop to it.”
Further operations are also planned in order to ensure the continued safety of bus users and members of the community.
A Spokesperson for Knowsley Council said: “We are working with our partners including Merseyside Police and Stagecoach to address the recent issues of anti-social behaviour in Kirkby involving the buses. We will continue to try and identify those responsible and bring them to justice. These bus routes are vital for our hard-working key workers and we will work with our partners to ensure the routes are maintained.”
A Stagecoach Spokesperson added: “Bus services are absolutely critical to local communities and our economy, particularly at this time when they help key workers and other people make essential journeys.
“Removing our buses from service is a last resort, but we cannot risk the safety of our hard-working staff or our customers. Along with the rest of the community, we are appalled at the recent anti-social behaviour directed at our services in the Kirkby area and we would urge anyone with any information about these incidents to contact the police.
“We are continuing to work closely with the police to ensure we can serve residents in Kirkby safely and this included a joint operation last night. As a result, we are pleased to be able to restore the operation of full routes around Kirkby and enable key workers and our other customers to get access to the vital bus services they need.”
You can report anti-social behaviour via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’. You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form. Always call 999 if a crime is in progress. Follow @MerPolKnowsley on Twitter and ‘Knowsley Police’ on Facebook for news, advice and events.