POLICE are to start boarding Southampton's buses following a spate of youths vandalising vehicles. 

Bluestar is working with Hampshire Constabulary to ensure bus services in Millbrook are not hindered as they transport key workers and those making essential journeys.

It comes after a spate of attacks on a number of buses travelling through areas of Millbrook. 

Youths have been launching stones at buses, shattering windows and damaging doors. 

Daily Echo:

On one occasion, four Bluestar buses were damaged during the start of January. 

Bluestar was forced to seek police assistance after its number 18 vehicles were targeted by “several youths, who were armed with stones.”

This week, the back window of a City Red bus was smashed. 

The City Red 2 bus had been travelling along Kendal Avenue at the time.

Buses were diverted via Romsey Road for the remainder of the day.

Daily Echo:

Now officers from Shirley Police have been boarding buses to establish a presence in the area.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been providing vital transport for key workers who are carrying out vital roles at Southampton General Hospital and elsewhere across our city,” said Bluestar operations manager, Andy Shaw.

“Recently, this crucial service has been targeted by groups of youths in Millbrook, and we have been working with local police to show we will not tolerate this type of behaviour. 

“We are determined to continue operating our Bluestar 18 buses. We also want those travelling with us to know they are safe, and that we will pursue and seek prosecution of anyone attempting to hamper our drivers. 

“I would like to thank the police for the work they are doing to prevent these acts of vandalism. They are doing all they can to keep our customers and our drivers safe. 

“I’d also want to pay tribute to our drivers. They have been unwavering in their commitment to keep the city moving over the past year in incredibly challenging circumstances, and they deserve the support of the whole community.”