AN initiative aimed at bringing public transport thugs to justice is being launched in Lancashire.

The county council's Safer Travel Unit has teamed up with Lancashire Constabulary to issue 4,000 DNA swab testing kits to bus drivers, inspectors and bus station staff to aid detection and prevention of assaults involving spitting.

The Telegraph revealed the move earlier this year but the kits will be in use by next month.

County Coun Tony Martin, cabinet member for sustainable development, said: "It's hard to believe that someone would spit at drivers and other staff, but it happens. It's despicable.

"In the past they may have got away with it due to lack of evidence.

"But now, thanks to the DNA swabs, simply by spitting they are providing evidence.

"In the event of a spitting attack the victim will be able to take a sample which will be passed to the police to add to evidence.

The Operation Buswatch initiative will be supported by a poster campaign on buses and at stations. It is hoped that raising awareness of the issue will also impact on the general behaviour of customers using bus services.