Bus drivers issued with DNA kits

BUS drivers in Wrexham have now been issued with DNA testing equipment to catch passengers who spit at them.
By Matt Sims
The swab kits were issued at a special event at Wrexham Bus Station in a bid to combat anti-social behaviour.

As reported in the Leader on Tuesday, the kits will be used to collect samples of saliva if they are spat on which can then be used by North Wales Police to help trace offenders through the national DNA database.

If no immediate match is found, a record of the DNA will be stored and can be used in a future arrest.

The move has been welcomed by transport group Arriva.

A spokesman said: “Thankfully, this form of assault rarely occurs, although we welcome the introduction of the kits as a further safeguard for our drivers against anti-social behaviour.

“Arriva treats the safety of its employees as paramount and will not tolerate any form of anti-social behaviour towards its staff.”

The scheme was launched by Travelsure, a partnership between Wrexham Council, the town’s community safety partnership and local bus operators.

It was set up in December 2007 as a reporting mechanism for bus drivers and passengers to report anti-social behaviour and crime without dialling 999.

It allows also allows information and intelligence provided by the bus operators and members of the public to be locally compiled and analysed.

Cllr David Bithell, lead member for environment and transport said: “Public transport in Wrexham is safe; however there is always a small risk that drivers may suffer from anti-social behaviour or an attack on the vehicle.

“This scheme will make both drivers and passengers feel safer and will help the police catch the perpetrators quicker, the use of DNA swab kits will act as a further deterrent to those who are thinking of committing crime on our transport system.”

Martin Wright, chief transportation and asset management officer said: “TravelSure is an extremely effective way of gathering information and intelligence for the police to use.

“The new scheme will strengthen our partnership and shows our commitment to making public transport safe for everyone.”

Do you think bus drivers being given DNA kits is a good idea?