A York police community support officer has found a new way to connect with residents on the go.
PCSO Ollie Maskell, of the York Neighbourhood Policing Team, is boarding popular bus routes in York and chatting to passengers about any issues affecting their community.
The First York and North Yorkshire Police partnership is working well, he says.
“It’s been a tough year for people and they may not have had chance to speak to anyone about the issues that affect them and the community they live in,” PCSO Maskell said.
“But the further easing of lockdown restrictions and the success of the vaccine rollout so far means public spaces and public transport are getting busier as some sort of normality returns.
“This can be daunting for people who’ve got used to things being the way they’ve been during lockdown – their daily surroundings suddenly feel busier and noisier.
“So we’re working with First York to provide an easy and safe way for passengers to discuss anything they want to with North Yorkshire Police.”
Tackling crime en route
PCSO Maskell will also be on hand to deal with crime and anti-social behaviour that happens on the streets around the bus routes.
Several popular routes around the city will be covered to begin with, and more routes can be added if people like the idea.
Catherine Croston, Head of Operations at First York, said: “We thought this would be a great way for us to help the police with its outreach to York communities and provide further reassurance to customers, especially those heading into the city and meeting up with friends and family for the first time in a long time.
“Our buses are a safe way to travel and have been operating throughout the past 12 months to help everyone making journeys in lockdown and periods when restrictions have been relaxed.
“We can see life coming back to York and more people are returning to using the bus, so we hope any customer who would like to chat with Ollie will find this helpful.”