CCTV cameras will monitor the conurbation’s busiest bus stops and transport hubs in a bid to tackle antisocial behaviour (ASB).

BCP Council has been awarded £480,000 from the Department for Transport as part of a nationwide pilot to reduce antisocial behaviour on the public transport network.

The funding is part of the Government’s Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, which also has a focus on preventing violence against women and girls.

Police and Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick, said: “We have all seen the reports of ASB on public transport over the last couple of years, and witnessing such an incident was one of the reasons I stood for office because I wanted to act against such appalling behaviour.

“Our residents should be able to use the local transport network without fear, so I look forward to seeing the improvements this scheme will bring, and this is yet another example of local partners working together to make Dorset a safer place to live, work and visit.”

Councillor Kieron Wilson, BCP portfolio holder for housing and regulatory services said: “Incidents of anti-social behaviour on our transport network need consistent monitoring to identify and challenge negative behaviours in real time, so we welcome this funding from the Department for Transport to tackle this issue.

“ASB negatively impacts upon the quality of life for our residents, and we need to find solutions that work, especially in known hotspot areas such as public transport networks.”

Transport Safety Officers (TSOs) will also patrol key routes, working alongside Dorset Police and the British Transport Police.

BCP Council will also be working in partnership with Morebus and UK bike and scooter sharing scheme provider, Beryl, as part of the pilot.

Richard Wade, general manager at Morebus, said: “As with all operators, from time-to-time, we do experience incidents at bus stops and on buses, so we very much look forward to working with the local authority to determine where best to deploy these officers once in place.”

Chief Inspector, Darren Harris, from Dorset Police, said: “While it may often be deemed a low-level crime, anti-social behaviour has a significant impact on people’s wellbeing and sense of security.

“Dorset Police is committed to driving down ASB in the county through Operation Relentless and we look forward to working with partners on this new scheme and encourage people to report ASB wherever they see it.”

The pilot will be rolled out in January 2024 and run until March 2025.