A new police team has been drafted on to a bus route labelled as one of the most dangerous, in an attempt to crack down on drunken fights and violent scuffles. The team has been told to mainly concentrate on the 29 and N29.
The 29 and N29 bendy bus, which runs from Trafalgar Square to Wood Green, has long been notorious for reports of pickpocketing, violence, drunkenness and fare evasion. In recent years incidents have included a 19 year old being punched to the ground and needing major surgery and a 23 year old being stabbed.
During a six hour operation on Thursday 10th December 2009, which targeted the bus route as it travelled through Camden Town, 16 people were arrested on suspicion of possession of bladed articles, theft and possession of class A drugs.
A two day police operation on Thursday 28th and Friday 29th January 2010 resulted in 17 arrests. Over the two days police checked almost 2,000 passengers on 60 buses. They arrested 17 people for various offences including fare evasion, theft, assault and drugs. More than 120 penalties for fare evasion were dished out - 92 of those were recommended for prosecution by Transport for London.
The officers will be at bus stops and will also board buses when they arrive. The team is led by an Inspector and is made up of one police sergeant, two constables and seven community support officers. It is split into three groups, with each section being sent to a different crime hotspot.