At the Scottish Police Excellence Awards today Lothian Buses was crowned as policing partner of the year. The main reason for the capital’s bus company rising above its competition was that it has a dedicated Transport Liaison Officer.

This move has been in place since 2015 when the bus company and Edinburgh Police decided to collaborate to tackle incidents and issues on the transport network.

Police Scotland appointed PC Julie Cochrane who has worked with the bus company’s staff to address crime and ant-social behaviour.

Commenting on the win Claudine Molloy, Head of Operations Lothian Buses said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Police Scotland, so to win this award further cements the great work we have done together over the past 18 months.

“We share the same values around community safety and I’m confident that our work together has and will continue to benefit our staff, customers and the wider community.”

Police Scotland Inspector, David Happs added: “This award recognises the commitment of Police Scotland and Lothian Buses to work together to provide safe travel throughout the city for the large number of local residents, visitors and staff that use this network on a daily basis.

“We have already observed a large reduction in the number of incidents of antisocial behaviour through focussed joint initiatives and intervention. I anticipate the innovative school education programme delivered jointly by Constable Julie Cochrane and Lothian Buses’ Community Engagement team will deliver further long term benefits to the Edinburgh community.”

As part of the partnership strategy, Lothian Buses and PC Cochrane designed a schools liaison programme to deliver a behavioural change communication workshop to high school pupils. In the first eight months of last year, the workshop was presented to 22 local schools engaging with over 1200 young adults.  Overall feedback from pupils reported a 96% positive learning experience.

Enforcement activity was also carried out following reports of antisocial behaviour in areas of Edinburgh.

Photograph by Ian Georgeson t 07921 567360