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East End bus delays caused by thefts

East End residents were warned to expect bus delays yesterday morning after ten vehicles had to be taken off the roads due to damage in thefts at the St George’s depot.

Police announced yesterday that the facility on Old Military Road had been targeted overnight, with cash removed — and the Department of Public Transportation confirmed it was assisting the investigation.

Commuters were hit with delays that morning, for which the department apologised, saying the buses had to be repaired.

Walter Roban, the Shadow Minister of National Security, said last night that the incident raised “serious questions” about security.

“This senseless act of theft and vandalism of our public buses has ramifications beyond the money stolen and damage suffered; it impacts those who can least afford delays or disruptions — our bus riders.

“This situation will further hamper a public transportation system that is being continuously challenged by bus shortages and breakdowns as we enter the busy tourism season.”

Mr Roban questioned whether reliable security and surveillance was in place at the depot — saying that the police’s $6 million CCTV system ought to be extended if the facility was not covered. He pointed to break-ins at five public schools in February as indicative of other security shortfalls. and said bus expansion plan to Dockyard and St George’s must be modified to address the situation.

Mr Roban recommended that police consult with the department for a review of security at public transport facilities, so that suggestions could be implemented.