Southampton has been experiencing a surge in bus vandalisations. Over the last few months, windows on Bluestar and CityRed buses have been the targets of attacks, where windows have been smashed and doors broken whilst they were in service.
Police are now having to board buses to prevent these attacks and protect the drivers and passengers of these bus services, many of whom are essential workers travelling for work.
Groups of youths are the suspected culprits of these acts of vandalism. Recently, a 12-year-old boy was held in connection with one such attack and admitted to the attack. However, six more youths managed to escape the scene, with Neighbourhood Police being only minutes behind them.
Although nobody has been hurt in these attacks, they are very distressing for drivers and passengers sitting in the buses.
Police are appealing for information about these attacks, in particular they are appealing to parents in the areas of Lordshill and Millbrook, where the attacks have taken place, and asked them if their children have been out at the time of these incidents. In one case, the Police are asking if parents know their children have gone out with a catapult, as they suspect this was used.
Councillors are also calling on the public to come together after the spate of attacks and prevent such incidents happening again.
Steven Galton, Ward Councillor for Millbrook said:
It isn’t just a bit of harmless fun. It could cause serious injury or loss of life.
For anyone who has information, the right thing to do is to get that to the police.
If you’ve got kids and you know it’s not them, tell them so that they can tell their friends to help get that message out there.
Redbridge Ward Councillor, Lee Whitbread has also warned the public that if these attacks continue, there is a ‘real risk of losing our local bus services’.
If you have any information connected to these vandalisms, call 101, quoting 44210129546.