By Anna Holness – Managing Partner, Passenger Services, Telefónica UK
Here at O2 we’re passionate about innovation. I’m even more passionate about innovation when it improves the passenger experience.
That’s why I’m hugely proud of the O2 Passenger Services Innovation Award. An award that celebrates innovative ideas in the passenger services industry and donates £10,000 to a charity of the winner’s choice.
This year the winning submission came from British Transport Police (BTP), who showed how technology, social media and an informative online presence can improve passenger security. ‘Operation Magnum’ was made up of a series of online videos that highlighted to passengers the 13 most common methods of theft on public transport. Awareness of the threat of theft was also supported by the BTP twitter profile and the hashtag #EveryTheft.
BTP also encouraged passengers to install tracker applications on their tablets and smartphones. The power of tracking technology in the professional hands of transport police is huge. There have been occasions of officers being able to trace a stolen phone from London all the way to Manchester and arrest the thief as he stepped onto the platform.
Chief Superintendent Paul Brogden, who leads the operation, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised by O2 and are thrilled to be able to donate £10,000 to The Railway Children. We will continue to do everything we can to disrupt and deter thieves who brazenly snatch expensive smartphones from distracted passengers’ hands and those who steal luggage and valuables on trains.”
The statistics speak for themselves: between 1 April 2013 and Wednesday 26 March 2014, theft committed on trains and at stations has reduced by 16.1% with 2,728 fewer victims compared to the same period the previous year.
Personally, I was thrilled to see a charity benefit from this process and also see evidence that innovation is not just about providing travel updates and improving ticketing processes; it’s ensuring that travelling is also a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.
Find out more about how O2 is supporting innovation in passenger services by visiting our website.