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Remote humiliation

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The Midland Metro has become “the first tram system in the UK to win a prestigious award for passenger safety and crime reduction”, according to the Centro press release ‘Metro system first in UK to win safety award‘ dated 29 August 2012.

Judges from the Secured by Design organisation and the Association of Chief Police Officers have given the coveted Safer Tram Stop Award to all 23 stops on the system, which is owned by transport authority Centro and operated by National Express.

The initiative rewards operators who reduce crime and anti-social behaviour at tram stops. It also advises operators, designers and architects on how to develop better and safer environments.

Assessors for the award, a joint scheme between Secured by Design and British Transport Police, travelled the line between Birmingham and Wolverhampton inspecting facilities at the stops.

They also interviewed passengers, asking questions such as how safe they felt using the Metro and what they felt could be done to improve it.

The award follows a number of initiatives by the Safer Travel Partnership, which involves Centro, West Midlands Police, British Transport Police and National Express, to deter crime and anti-social behaviour on the system.
[…]
Offenders have also played a role through the Community Payback project by cutting back foliage to improve visibility and by cleaning and painting stops. The scheme has involved the Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Birmingham Community Payback Units as part of the Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust.

The Secured by Design website gives the following information about it.

ACPO Secured by Design
======================
Established in 1989, Secured by Design (SBD) is owned by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and is the corporate title for a group of national police projects focusing on the design and security for new & refurbished homes, commercial premises and car parks as well as the acknowledgement of quality security products and crime prevention projects.

Secured by Design Membership
============================
The company operates a licensing scheme and includes member companies who are entitled to use the Secured by Design logo and promote the term ‘Police Preferred Specification’ on products which have passed the tests specified by ACPO Secured by Design.

Conspicuous by their absence from Centro’s press release are any hard facts about the number of crimes on the Midland Metro over time, by type and location. The award just seems to be an ACPO whizz to raise money, but again, there is no information about how much the “assessment” cost.

A feature of the offender work scheme used by Centro is that participants have to wear jackets with ‘Community Payback’ ‘COMMUNITY PAYBACK’ written on them, presumably for humiliation purposes. But although passengers waiting for trams can identify workers as offenders, the photos used to promote the scheme don’t show their faces. So it seems humiliation in person is fine, but remote humiliation is a step too far.

Written by beleben

August 31, 2012 at 1:47 pm

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