Zero tolerance pays off for First
First Glasgow’s zero tolerance approach to combating vandalism has produced some ‘dramatic improvements’. Broken windows have been reduced from 8,000 ten years ago to just 750 for last year. According to the operator, forging close relationships with the police, the introduction of CCTV to the majority of the fleet, running anti-vandalism programmes and better engaging with local communities have been key reasons for the better results. First has also pledged to prosecute anyone found damaging its vehicles. Indeed the company recently made legal history by winning a civil court case banning a vandal (Nathan Chlosta) from its fleet for life after damaging 26 First Glasgow buses in the space of three months. First was also awarded £10,000 damages. The vandal, who damaged windows on 26 buses, was given a 200 hour community payback order.
Managing Director of First Glasgow, Ronnie Park, said: ‘Our responsibility is to our customers – to give them a pleasant, safe experience when travelling on our buses. We adopt this zero tolerance approach to make bus travel safer and more pleasant for all our customers. In addition, as a commercial bus operator, we would much rather invest the revenue we receive from customers in improving our services, and not replacing windows or cleaning graffiti. Given our scale of operations (114m passenger trips a year; 950 buses; 41m miles covered annually) crime on our buses is extremely low. However, our approach to reducing instances of vandalism will remain relentless – we will continue to do everything we can to further improve on our good record.’