Police in undercover bid to halt bus attacks

Bus drivers have experienced trouble in Dalkeith. Picture: Greg Macvean

Bus drivers have experienced trouble in Dalkeith. Picture: Greg Macvean

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A BUS company has been forced to run a “dummy” service with police officers on board in a bid to stop vandalism attacks.

Lothian Buses used the tactic in November following a spate of attacks on their vehicles by a gang of youths in Dalkeith, Midlothian.

Locals claim around 30 buses have been attacked over the past few months with the latest incident taking place last Saturday when around 20 males were involved in throwing rocks at cars and buses in the town.

Traffic cones were also thrown onto Eskbank Road in an attempt to make passing vehicles swerve or collide with oncoming traffic.

Rumours have swept the town that Lothian Buses are to pull all services from the area following the spate of attacks, though a spokesperson for the bus company has denied that claim.

It has now been revealed Lothian Buses is running sporadic “dummy” services with officers posing as passengers in a bid to identify the youths responsible.

Motorist Graeme McShane said his car was hit by a flying rock thrown by the gang and he witnessed an upstairs bus window being smashed as it travelled behind him on Saturday evening.

Graeme, from Dalkeith, Midlothian, posted on Facebook: “I was driving through Dalkeith on Saturday night past Morrison’s and a group of youths at the bus stop were throwing large stones, one hit my car and then the car behind.

“When I pulled into Morrison’s I then seen them throw a stone through a window on the bus - lucky no one was sat at that seat. They were [also] throwing a traffic cone at the last minute causing cars to swerve and lots of near misses.

“I got talking to the bus driver who said that the bus was brand new and had been on the road a matter of days.”

A Lothian Bus spokesperson said: “We can confirm that this incident took place on Saturday 3 January evening and we are currently working with the police regarding this issue. The safety of our passengers and staff remains our number one priority.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We can confirm a Lothian Bus vehicle had a window smashed during an incident on Eskbank Road, Dalkeith, at around 7.40pm on 3 January 2015.

“We are currently following a number of positive lines of enquiry.”