Tyrese wins the name game with Operation Bale

Birmingham youngster Tyrese Nelson has left his mark on a National Express West Midlands bus after winning a competition promoting safer travel.

The 11-year-old got to name a bus after his baby niece Talasia-Rose as part of the annual Operation Bale initiative run by the West Midlands Safer Travel Partnership.

The Partnership works to tackle and deter crime and nuisance behaviour on the transport network.

Operation Bale is run every September with the beginning of the new school year and educates children who are starting senior school on how to use and behave on public transport.

The competition asked youngsters why they thought it was important to behave while on the network.

His winning answer was:

"You should behave on buses because they are not your property to damage.  You should never distract the drivers or cause them any harm and never harass anyone in general."

Tyrese is a pupil at Perry Beeches The Academy (CORR) in Birmingham. So he named the bus, which is based at Perry Barr bus depot, ‘Talasia-Rose’ after his two-year-old niece. Tyrese also received £100 in Amazon vouchers.

Tyrese, who works on his school’s safer travel team, said:

“I want to be a bus driver when I am older so I’m really pleased to have won.”

Inspector Rachel Crump of the Safer Travel police team said:

"Tyrese gave a brilliant answer and his attitude towards how you should use public transport is spot-on. He’s a credit to his family and his school.”

This year’s Operation Bale has seen a 20% reduction in anti-social behaviour (ASB) on the same period last year.

Officers from the Safer Travel Partnership met with youngsters at bus stations and interchanges across the West Midlands and visited more than 50 schools in September, presenting to more than 3,000 Year 7 and 8 pupils.

They also went on buses with pupils to advise on staying safe while travelling, what to do if they do get into difficulties, and highlighting the impact ASB can have on other passengers.

Three plain-clothes operations were held on bus and tram services and within the bus stations in an attempt to identify students behaving inappropriately.

Cycle surgeries were also carried out at train stations delivering crime prevention advice to new students.

The team encouraged youngsters and other passengers to use the See Something Say Something service to report ASB anonymously on the bus network.

Passengers can text 'bus' followed by a space and then details of the incident including time, date, location and route number to 83010.

The information sent can help police pinpoint nuisance behaviour hotspots, carry out undercover operations and assist the Partnership's dedicated ASB team in identifying troublemakers.

Where perpetrators are identified, ASB officers take appropriate action, often in conjunction with a school and parents.

This can include payback for their behaviour in the form of cleaning buses through the Restorative Justice programme.

The Safer Travel Partnership comprises officers from West Midlands Police and British Transport Police, Transport for West Midlands which part of the West Midlands Combined Authority, and transport operators.

Published 8th November 2016