What’s your view on the STaN (Safer Transport at Night) initiative? I guess we have to accept that the advertising campaign they are running and targeting at young people to discourage them from using touts when they are going home after a night out is a good move.
Apart from that, how effective is it considering the huge resources it is gobbling up?

We could be forgiven for thinking they have been trying to legalise a lot of the touting rather than policing it. At least, it’s hard to imagine why else they have introduced satellite PH offices and then turn a blind eye to the nightly transgressions of cars plotting up outside the venues and the Clipboard Johnny standing outside, touting business completely against the law.

Then, when they do get off their backsides and take away a licence, as they recently did with Diamond Cars at Abacus, the courts over-rule them. Why? Diamond Cars have been flagrantly transgressing the law ever since they opened their tout office and now they are back, its back to the same old law-breaking modus operandi. Why not? They have been sanctioned by the courts to carry on doing it!

It’s not all bad news though! Over three weekends in September/October there was a concerted effort by all 32 teams of the Safer Transport Command and Community and safety police to sort out the touts. How much did that cost??? They made 140 arrests. With the power of arrest I should think any one of us could have achieved that in the City of London on our own in one night. It’d be like picking cherries.

Now this may surprise some of you. STaN actually won a prestigious, international award at the back end of last year. It was the Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem – Oriented Policing. StaN beat all the other 60 submissions from across the world’s law enforcement agencies to win this award so they must have done things right. Hurrah, they’ve wiped out touting without our noticing. Er, no. They’ve eradicated the hundreds of sexual assaults/rapes that result from touting every year, Er, no again. Sorry chaps, STaN won the award for -wait for it – “reducing bicycle theft in London as set out in The Mayor’s Cycle Security Plan.”
That’s OK then. Don’t worry about touts thieving your living or your wives and daughters being raped by the touts. Your bike is safe with STaN on their game!

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