POLICE and transport staff are fighting back against vandalism after a recent spate of attacks on buses.

Under the ‘Crucial Crew’ scheme, a collection of groups have been speaking to Year Six students from schools around Bolton to teach them the human cost of these incidents in videos featuring the victims.

First Bus has suffered from eight incidents over the last two weeks, including vandals breaking windows by throwing a paving slab and shooting a vehicle with an air rifle.

Yesterday, a group of schoolchildren gathered at the Territorial Army barracks, in Nelson Street, to hear from Travelsafe - a partnership including police, TfGM and the region’s transport operators, including First.

Special Constable, Danny Waller, was one of the key Travelsafe officers involved.

He explained that - along with other presentations - the pupils are shown a video of a tram driver who was knocked unconscious when a stone slab slammed through his window.

“This is the age where it’s really important,” he explained.

“This is where we can influence their behaviour so they are not getting into the are where they have a criminal record and they are not getting involved in that downward spiral. There’s so much pressure on them but humanising these transport providers is so important.”

SC Waller also spoke about the importance of partnership at the Crucial Crew events, which are attended by Bolton Road Safety Group, British Transport Police and Bolton Lads and Girls Clubs, among others.

He explained that the problem of anti-social behaviour on public transport could only be solved by a joint approach.

Officers have increased patrols at Winchester Way and Thicketford Road, in Breightmet after recent incidents.