First Glasgow’s zero tolerance approach to vandalism delivers positive results

2 July 2013  •  Source: FirstGroup

First Glasgow, the city’s leading bus operator, today confirmed that its zero tolerance approach to combating vandalism has produced some dramatic improvements.

The company has revealed, for example, that broken windows have been reduced from 8,000 ten years ago to just 750 for last year. Forging close relationships with the police, the introduction of CCTV to the majority of the fleet, running anti-vandalism programmes and better engaging with local communities have been key reasons for the improvement.

First has also pledged to prosecute anyone found damaging its vehicles. Indeed the company recently made legal history by winning a civil court case banning a vandal (Nathan Chlosta) from its fleet for life after damaging 26 First Glasgow buses in the space of three months. First was also awarded £10,000 damages. The vandal, who damaged windows on 26 buses, was given a 200 hour community payback order.

Managing Director of First Glasgow, Ronnie Park, said: “Our responsibility is to our customers – to give them a pleasant, safe experience when travelling on our buses. I am pleased that our approach to reducing vandalism, and indeed all crimes on our buses, is succeeding.”

Talking about the specific case against Nathan Chlosta, Ronnie Park said: “If someone is caught causing damage to any of our vehicles, or acting in a manner that will compromise the safety of our employees and passengers, we will seek to prosecute the individual concerned. In this case we took Civil Action to prevent this individual from travelling on our buses throughout Scotland and sought compensation for the damage caused.

“We adopt this zero tolerance approach to make bus travel safer and more pleasant for all our customers. In addition, as a commercial bus operator, we would much rather invest the revenue we receive from customers in improving our services, and not replacing windows or cleaning graffiti.”

He added: “I can assure passengers that bus travel remains a very safe form of transport. Given our scale of operations (114million passenger trips a year; 950 buses; 41million miles covered annually) crime on our buses is extremely low. However, our approach to reducing instances of vandalism will remain relentless – we will continue to do everything we can to further improve on our good record.”

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