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To ensure a safer environment for passengers on the Golden Arrow Bus Service (GABS), the City’s Law Enforcement Department has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with GABS that will pave the way for Law Enforcement officers to do duty on buses. This on board enforcement will add value to the service and ensure the safety of passengers.

The appointment of 20 Law Enforcement officers was made possible by the City’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). Apart from ensuring the safety of passengers on GABS buses, officers will also be responsible for the enforcement of relevant by-laws such as Traffic and Parking By-laws. The MOA signed by the City will see parties working closely in the interest of the safety of passengers.

‘The memorandum will allow the City to work closely with GABS and will give passengers added value and peace of mind in knowing that there will be a law enforcement presence on buses. Officers will liaise closely with passengers so that they can gather information about possible criminal activity, plan accordingly and act swiftly where necessary. In this regard the City would like to request passengers to assist officers in informing them of any anti-social behaviour, or other activities that could cause a disturbance on buses,’ said the Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

The key focus of the Law Enforcement officers will be to have a high visibility on GABS buses so as to not only protect and serve, but also to be a deterrent to possible criminal activity on buses and at bus depots.

In doing so the officers will conduct stop and search operations, including random searches, at predefined bus stops and shelters.

To ensure sustainable service delivery, the City will have bi-monthly meetings with GABS to discuss operational efficiency and deliverables as per the MOA.

‘The effectiveness of the law enforcement programme on GABS buses will be monitored by both parties in the interest of the safety of passengers. This programme will show that the City is always willing to assist in initiatives that will contribute to a safer environment for passengers on and off the road. Passengers should support the officers and inform them of any act that could pose a threat to safety on the bus,’ added Alderman Smith.

According to GABS General Manager, Derick Meyer, ‘Golden Arrow is optimistic that the new GABS-funded unit will be a success. It is our sincere hope that the presence of these Law Enforcement officers will serve as a deterrent and that the information gathered via the programme will lead to arrests and convictions. We appeal to our passengers to give these officers their full support. We remain committed to playing our part in the fight against crime.’

The MOA will be in place until February 2020 with the hope to review and extend the programme subject to operational requirements and as agreed upon by both parties.