The first bus driver hired under a scheme to help the police patrol London’s transport routes has qualified as a special constable.
The BusBeat scheme enables bus drivers, depot and support staff to use eight hours of their work time each fortnight to patrol buses, transport routes and bus stations. Volunteers have the same powers as regular police officers.
Gagu Keshwala, from west London, is the first bus driver to receive his warrant card after a month of full-time training, sponsored by his employer Metroline.
Neil Barrett, head of employer-supported policing at the Metropolitan Police, said the scheme would mean better security for the travelling public.
“We have schemes that bring in special constables from a number of industries, but out of all these schemes, I think the BusBeat recruits will be the most travelled,” he said.
Transport staff are the latest target of Met plans to increase the number of special constables on the beat. Other groups have included NHS workers, students and, most recently, gallery owners and art specialists to combat forgery.