A Transport Safety Officer From Walsall Wins Regional Award
4th July 2024
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West Midlands transport safety officer Paul Wheatley has scooped a major award after becoming the scourge of troublemakers and a reassuring figure for thousands of commuters on the region’s trains, buses and trams.


During 1,186 hours on the beat, the prolific patrolman helped more than 6,000 people last year covering a wide range of issues from directing lost travellers to following up complaints of anti-social behaviour.


And he issued an incredible 875 warnings during 2023, with his body worn camera footage used to identify and prosecute those responsible for a range of crimes including anti-social behaviour, vandalism and assault.



Mostly based in Walsall, he played a key role coordinating action with police, bus companies, schools and the local community to tackle a spate of anti-social behaviour on buses in the Blakenhall area – the incidents have now stopped.


Now Paul, who joined the West Midlands Safer Partnership at the start of 2023, has scooped the regional British Security Award for newcomer of the year – and is shortlisted for the national award to be announced on 3rd July.


As well as the regular patrols, education has been a key part of his role – he has visited dozens of schools to talk with youngsters about good conduct when travelling as well as highlighting the consequences of bad behaviour.


Last year he was the focus of a Department of Transport (DfT) video that was part of a national campaign in support of White Ribbon, which is the UK’s leading charity engaging men and boys to end violence against women and girls. 


Paul, who is from Brownhills, said: “It is always nice to be recognised in a positive way for a job you enjoy doing, but as important is the recognition for the role of Transport Safety Officer and the part we all play every day in helping to make the public transport network a safer place for everyone.”


The Safer Travel Partnership is an innovative and award-winning collaboration between Transport for West Midlands, West Midlands Police and the British Transport Police who pool resources to both tackle and prevent crime on the region’s buses, trains and trams.

Paul is part of a team of 12 specially trained transport safety officers (TSOs) who are deployed to deal with low-level nuisance, disorder and anti-social behaviour targeting routes and locations based on reports received from transport staff or the general public. The TSOs are employed through Solihull-based security company, MAN Commercial Protection Ltd.

Despite being relatively new to the team Paul, who started with MAN Commercial as a distribution security officer, has become a mentor for some of the younger members of the team.


Mark Corbin, director of network resilience with TfWM said: “From day one on the job Paul became an essential part of the team – he introduced himself to our partners in the police, the transport operators and local community and played a pivotal role in reducing and preventing anti-social behaviour.


“He is popular and well respected among his colleagues and has shown us the way in getting results and mentoring younger members of the team.”


About the Author

Ian Henery

Member since: 4th February 2019

Presenter Black Country Radio & Black Country Xtra

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