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Silence is golden for Tamsin

PUBLISHED: 16:56 18 March 2010 | UPDATED: 14:57 24 August 2010

TEAMWORK on buses may be the only way to stop unruly passengers from playing loud music. New independent parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, Tamsin Omond recently showed the value of democracy in tackling the problem. She said she took a

TEAMWORK on buses may be the only way to stop unruly passengers from playing loud music.

New independent parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, Tamsin Omond recently showed the value of democracy in tackling the problem.

She said she took a vote of fellow passengers and got the young men who were playing loud 'heavy metal' music to turn it off.

Ms Omond said: "As I sat on the bus, I was surrounded by passengers shaking their heads at the noise coming from the back.

"So I jumped up and started speaking. The words that came out of my mouth surprised me: 'Let's take a vote, if you want me to go and chat to these guys and ask them to turn it off, just raise your hand.'

"The boys at the back squirmed, looking very embarrassed. Everyone else tentatively put up their hand. So there was my mandate for action.

"I gulped. What if they ignored me or got angry? But the boys just smiled when I reached the back and clicked off their speakers.

"Grinning, I went back to claim my seat. Everyone else on the bus looked much happier."

Virginia Berridge of the West Hampstead Amenity and Transport group, welcomed the challenge to anti-social bus passengers.

She said: "I think it's a good idea to get a consensus because there is no point in raising the issue on your own."

Ms Berridge added: "Transport for London (TfL) should enforce these issues.

"If they had more staff members and inspectors getting on there would be nothing to stop them doing that during the rush hours."

A TfL spokeswoman said: "We know anti-social behaviour can be intimidating and fuel a disproportionate fear of crime.

"Reassurance and high visibility policing is aimed at addressing this issue and there are now more police on and around the bus network in London than ever before.

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