Increase in reports of anti-social behaviour on Metro train network prompts new crackdown
A rise in reports of anti-social behaviour on the Metro rail network has prompted a new crackdown.
Named Operation Hermes – after the Greek God of travel – the two-day initiative sees Northumbria Police join colleagues from Metro operator Nexus, local councils, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and British Transport Police to target troublemakers and help ensure commuters feel safe.
The increased activity, which has started ahead of the bank holiday weekend, will include uniformed officers visiting stations and plain-clothed officers travelling on trains.
There will also be targeted search operations.
Chief Inspector Ron Charlton, who is leading the operation, said: “In the past month, officers have noticed an increase in reports of anti-social behaviour on the Metro services and at stations.
“A considerable proportion of these reports are linked to groups of young people congregating in and around stations or travelling on the system and acting in an unacceptable way.
“Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and we will take action against anyone who is intent on causing disruption.
“We want to assure passengers that police and partners are committed to making sure they can enjoy a safe and trouble-free journey, whether they’re daily commuters, occasional travellers or tourists.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness added: “We’re in a situation where anti-social behaviour is on the up, so we are quickly ensuring the policing response is on the up too, which I hope will reassure those who use the service and understandably have concerns.
“This operation is about a lot more than enforcement though, it’s about engaging with young people, particularly the bigger groups choosing to hang out at our stations and causing trouble.
“This can be intimidating and off-putting for other travellers and we all want to put a stop to it.
Nexus customer services director Huw Lewis welcomed the partnership operation and said: “Overall crime on Metro remains low but we are working hard to tackle low-level issues of bad behaviour and fare evasion which often drifts on to the system in suburban areas.
“Anyone who gets caught causing trouble on Metro faces arrest and prosecution through the courts and a possible ban from travelling.”