Passengers travelling on the number six bus between Horncastle and Wragby will soon be greeted by an arresting sight...a local police officer!
Horncastle Neighbourhood Policing Team has teamed up with Stagecoach to launch ‘Bus Beat’, a new engagement initiative which begins next Monday (April 25).
Bus Beat has operated successfully in other parts of the country and involves PCSOs using a local bus service - rather than a police vehicle - to reach rural areas of their beat.
PCSO Lucy Holland-Hancock, who covers Wragby, will be commuting from Horncastle to the village on Stagecoach’s Skegness to Lincoln service.
She will provide passengers with an ‘on board’ police surgery, giving people the opportunity to raise or get advice about crime prevention and other matters.
PCSO Holland-Hancock explained: “It is another way to engage with our communities but at a slower pace.
“People generally welcome the chance to meet officers from their local team but not everyone wants to visit the police station.
“We all live busy lives so attending drop-in surgeries isn’t always possible.
“I travel regularly to Wragby to carry out foot patrols around the village but throughout my journey there by car, I am not accessible and only visible to other road users.
“By travelling on the bus, the journey itself becomes a great opportunity to meet and talk with local residents”.
The idea was first mooted several months ago by another Horncastle based PCSO Nigel Wass.
He is delighted the scheme will finally start and has high hopes it will be rolled out on other bus routes.
Stagecoach - one of the country’s biggest bus companies - say they are happy to be ‘on board’.
Michelle Hargreaves, Stagecoach East Midlands Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to be teaming up with Horncastle Neighbourhood Policing Team to launch Bus Beat.
”The initiative will give our passengers the chance to meet and talk with their local community police officer.
“People are often busy so Bus Beat is a great way to run these on-board surgeries.”
Bus Beat will operate at least once a week and the days and times will vary. Advance notice will go out via Lincs Alert, the community messaging service, the team’s Twitter feed @HorncastleNPT, the Wragby newsletter and also posters displayed on the bus.
○ Anyone wanting information can contact PCSO Holland-Hancock (07500 920076) or email firstname.lastname@example.org