Table X: Summary of Responses to the Problems of Anti-Social Behaviour in Public Transport Systems.

(Source: Anti-Social Behaviour. Problem Solving Guides for Public Transport.
See Appendix to this Toolkit.)



How it Works

Works Best If...
...(1) employees actually use them where optional (2) employees do not leave protected cabin area


Increasing the Effort Needed for Crime 1. Harden targets and protect victims e.g., install protective interior screens for bus drivers Protects staff against violence and antisocial behaviour – e.g., spitting May make communication between employees and passengers more difficult, which may increase conflict; may produce glare and obstruct drivers vision; may restrict air flow; may not prevent assaults involving some weapons May conflict with other goals – e.g., station concourse businesses May leave large areas of big city termini still open to anyone May create disputes


Control access to transport facilities e.g., by restricting access to parts of stations to fare-paying passengers

Makes entry to locations more difficult for potential offenders, those intent on disorderly behaviour, and others whose actions may interfere with the smooth running of the transport system

…(1) design features facilitate access-control (2) access-control can be achieved without staff intervention (3) staff are trained to deal with any disputes that arise


Deflect offenders from encountering suitable victims e.g. dedicated school bus services for pupils

Prevents unruly school children from encountering and harassing other public transport passengers

… (1) school(s) and transport operators cooperate to monitor and control onboard behaviour (2) bus staff like young people and are trained to deal with them (3) parents

Unless well-run, does not protect vulnerable children against their anti-social peers Doesn’t teach children how to use public transport safely and courteously

support service


Control facilitators of anti-social behaviour e.g., remove or charge for public lavatories; remove comfortable seating from non-farepaying areas; close fast food outlets and bars; sweep and mop floors constantly

(1) Makes it difficult to loiter with comfort in transport settings (2) Discourages nonpassengers from hanging around and being disorderly

…(1) the requirements of the group in question are accurately identified, are relatively important to them, and cannot readily be obtained close by (2) accompanied by formal surveillance and intervention in the event of antisocial behaviour

Offenders may adapt their behaviour - e.g., by bringing what they need with them Passengers may resent lack of facilities, especially if delays to services require them to hang around for long periods in this environment

Increasing the Risks of Offending 5. Extend guardianship e.g., take precautions when travelling: travel with a friend; carry a mobile phone (but don’t flaunt it); know how to summon help; know where you are going; avoid deserted places (1) Makes passengers poorer risks as victims of anti-social behaviour through being confident, travelling with others, moving quickly, and looking alert and purposeful (2) Reduces the ability of offenders to choose vulnerable victims by making the victims less vulnerable to aggressive begging or harassment (1) Makes it easier for passengers to notice others in distress and intervene (2) Increases risk to offenders of being observed and identified …supplemented by the presence of help points, CCTV surveillance of less-frequented parts of the system, and availability of staff in case of emergency Taking routine precautions is sensible but neither obligatory nor possible in all situations or against all events Public transport operators have duty to keep their passengers safe from anti-social behaviour


Assist natural surveillance e.g., reduce the number of carriages making up a train at off-peak times, or close off empty carriages

…(1) trains are designed to assist natural surveillance: open-plan with unobstructed sight-lines between carriages (2) trains stop at designated safety points on

Denies choice of travelling in solitude May expose passenger to unwanted contact with disorderly groups in remaining carriages

platforms 7. Reduce anonymity e.g., enforce wearing of school uniforms Increases risk for those engaging in anti-social behaviour of being identified …(1) uniforms readily identify school (2) children are proud to be a member of the school and to wear its uniform Provides for increased surveillance of transport settings by employees, and quicker responses to anti-social behaviour …(1) combined with CCTV surveillance and two-way communication help-points in less-frequented areas (2) when staff are trained for responsibilities as place managers (1) Increases offenders’ perceived risks of detection (2) Allows personnel to detect and/or apprehend offenders more easily (3) Increases passengers’ feelings of security …(1) personnel presence is increased at times and locations where anti-social behaviour is most concentrated (2) the increase in presence is wellpublicised (3) personnel receive the appropriate training and can quickly summon further assistance Over time there may be some displacement of anti-social behaviour to times and locations where personnel are not present Cost can be a problem, but uniforms may reduce perceptions of social and economic differences amongst pupils Cost-effectiveness issues may arise in fully automated transit systems, or small stations


Utilise place managers e.g., bring staff out from “backstage” to manage helppoints and do other tasks in public areas


Strengthen formal surveillance e.g., increase police, and/or other accredited official surveillance of transport settings (security guards, community support officers, train captains, etc.)

Reducing the Anticipated Rewards of Crime 10. Remove targets of petty crime or anti-social behaviour e.g., replace disposable daily travel passes with rechargeable smart cards (1) Forces passengers to retain cards for recharging (2) Prevents ticket touts from being able to re-sell discarded passes by eliminating this type of pass …(1) card can be scanned without being displayed too openly (2) card can be quickly disabled if lost or stolen (3) card carries photo of owner to make fraudulent use riskier Reduces the supply of money supporting alcohol and its misuse, making aggressive begging less profitable …(1) donations are to specialist local charities (e.g., for the homeless) (2) support work funded by donations is perceived to be happening in the transport environment (1) Exposes young people to the sound and ambience created by classical music, which they may dislike (2) Increases the likelihood that young people will see public transport facilities as dull, old-fashioned and “uncool” places to be seen hanging about in …(1) groups in question can be accurately identified (2) music is both boring and socioculturally intimidating May displace begging to other locations May cause some offenders to turn to more serious acquisitive crimes Value of card may encourage snatch thefts and other crimes Touts may turn to other forms of aggressive begging


Disrupt markets e.g. post warning notices discouraging donations to beggars; offer alternative ways of helping this group


Deny benefits e.g., play classical music over public address system at train and bus stations

Passengers, staff and neighbours may not like classical music either

Reducing Pressures and Provocations 13. Reduce frustrations and stress e.g., where caused by delays, service failures and bodies on the line, by providing swift, accurate and up-todate information about causes, duration and travel alternatives (1) Provides information to passengers that reduces their feelings of powerlessness and angry frustration, enables them to make alternative arrangements and to keep others informed of their situation (2) Makes it less likely that interruptions to services will lead to anti-social behaviour from passengers …(1) the information provided addresses passengers’ needs to plan around any problems (2) all staff are also kept equally wellinformed about what is happening (3) the organisational culture is one that sees open communication with its customers as commercially vital …(1) journey is a long one (2) requires clear signage about its location and rules of use, and regular monitoring and enforcement by trained staff Only practicable where enough seating is available for users and non-users Having a “quiet” carriage may lead to legitimate complaints and danger of confrontations if rules are not enforced Cannot compensate in longer run for persistent operational inefficiencies or organizational failure to tackle anti-social behaviour in transport settings Providing information about service problems is no substitute for running an efficient service


Avoid disputes e.g., by providing “quiet” carriages on trains

(1) Separates people using mobile phones or portable diskplayers from passengers who value peace and quiet (2) Avoids the risk of unnecessary disputes between people with different tastes and traveling habits


Reduce emotional arousal e.g., training employees to handle difficult confrontations

Improves employees’ ability to deal with angry or distressed passengers and prevent disruptive behaviour

… (1) staff can summon backup quickly if required (2) refresher training is provided periodically (3) staff are monitored while dealing with problems, and debriefed regularly


Neutralise peer pressure to behave anti-socially e.g., provide credible role models for good behaviour in relevant transport settings

(1) Provides acceptable role models for good behaviour and independent thinking (2) Helps people to resist peer pressures towards behaving anti-socially

…(1) role model is credible and acceptable to the peer group – e.g. an admired and popular peer (2) role model is present in the setting and willing to act appropriately in the face of peer pressure (3) role model has position of authority – e.g., bus monitor, head of school …(1) general agreement can be obtained from all types of media so that none lose by co-operating

It may be difficult to find suitable role models acceptable to very anti-social groups Role models may be co-opted by peer pressure


Discourage imitation e.g., persuade media not to publish details of anti-social or dangerous activities on public transport


Set rules e.g. , publicise byelaws applicable to transport setting

(2) messages are targeted at media watched/read/ listened to by potential offenders Remove Excuses Establishes …(1) prohibited parameters for behaviours are acceptable listed in detail behaviours in the public transport (2) rules are highly setting and removes visible and widely excuses for antipublicized in the social behaviour transport settings to which they apply (3) rules are supplemented by additional posters and public announcements drawing attention to the most important prohibitions for that setting (4) rules are routinely enforced

Limits the publishing of details of dangerous activities such as train, bus or tram ‘surfing’, which, if known, may encourage people to try it out

Access to the internet makes curiosity about anti-social behaviour increasingly easy to satisfy and may lead to imitation

Small posters in fine print tucked away in corners are unlikely to be effective Ineffective unless regularly and visibly enforced, with penalties for noncompliance


Post instructions e.g., signs drawing attention to particularly important rules for the transport setting, such as “No begging”, “No smoking”, or “Keep your possessions with you at all times”

Removes excuses for non-compliance by clearly indicating important behaviours that passengers and others have to desist from or carry out

… (1) instructions are clearly visible and repeated throughout relevant settings (2) instructions are supplemented by public announcements (3) instructions are routinely enforced

Ineffective unless accompanied by regular enforcement and penalties for noncompliance


Alert conscience e.g., post messages like “Take your litter home”

Induces guilt and compliance by suggesting that the behaviour in question is anti-social

…(1) used as slogans referring to more detailed campaign messages (2) accompanied by a regular cleaning programme that makes discarded litter stand out

Will only affect those with a conscience to alert Anti-terrorist measures make easier alternatives, such as litter-bins, impractical


Assist compliance e.g., providing alternative meetingplaces for groups of people hanging about stations, etc.

Offers alternative places to meet friends for the young people and homeless who only use stations, bus stops, etc., because there is nowhere else to go

…(1) needs of group have been carefully identified (2) alternative location has somewhat superior facilities (3) is free, and can manage and tolerate a measure of disruptive behaviour

There often is nowhere else to go. Disorderly or antisocial individuals are frequently unwelcome in conventional clubs and day centres, and may not like organised settings


Control drugs and alcohol e.g., by designating public transport settings and their surroundings as alcohol-free areas

Limits the consumption of alcohol, which is often used as an excuse for disruptive and intimidating behaviour

…(1) police patrols routinely monitor designated areas for infringements (2) ban on alcohol consumption and confiscation of containers are enforced with a measure of

Growing number of designated areas may drive drinkers into large city termini where their drinking may more easily escape notice or action.