Officers and staff from the TravelSafe partnership have arrested 56 people and issued 494 fines as part of a two-week crackdown on crime and antisocial behaviour on the region’s transport network.
The initiative, which was carried out from 6 to 19 November included covert and overt patrols and a drone being used in the Rochdale area to deter criminality. In addition court warrants were issued to retrieve unpaid fines.
Eleven missing people were located and officers and staff also provided a presence in support of the Christmas lights switch on in Stockport, Bolton and Bury.
People were arrested for a variety of offences including possession of drugs, shoplifting and recall to prison.
There were also seven arrests for non-payment of outstanding fines worth a combined total of £9,550.
Nearly 500 fines were issued for non-payment of tickets and 27 people were surrendered to the courts for outstanding fines worth £31,000.
Chief Inspector Tariq Butt, who leads the partnership for GMP said: “We want the results from this operation to send a message to offenders and would be criminals that we are serious about keeping our travel network safe.
“We are keen to see that justice is served against those offenders causing misery towards commuters, communities and the local area. Anyone caught or responsible for a crime will be dealt with for their criminality.
“Our region’s bus and tram network caters for more than 240 million journeys each year which is why it is important that everyone is able to travel to and from their destination safely and without fear.
“The work of our team will not be limited to these two-weeks. In fact they will continue to support travel safe officers throughout the year to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour.”
The partnership is made up of TravelSafe Officers (TSOs) who are Security Industry Authority accredited, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and police officers, all dedicated to patrolling the transport network including busses and trams.
The multiagency approach is designed to tackle and reduce crime and antisocial behaviour. It uses antisocial behaviour and crime data alongside intelligence from operators to allocate dedicated resources in areas where they are most needed.
The unit is split by four areas to cover the whole city region. By doing this the team are able to familiarise themselves with the areas they serve and work alongside other partners to get to tackle broader issues associated with antisocial behaviour in those areas.
John Fryer, TfGM’s Safer Travel Manager, said: “Public transport is a safe way to travel and, as the success of this operation shows; the TSP is working together helping to reinforce and maintain that.
“The message to those that choose to commit crime and antisocial behaviour is clear; it will not be tolerated and we will continue to clamp down on it through targeted interventions and proactive operations such as this.”
Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Beverley Hughes, said: “The work done during Travel Safe Operation, and the results we have seen, send out two clear messages, one that anybody using Greater Manchester’s transport network should feel safe and secure and two, that anti-social behaviour will never be tolerated.
“The work done so far lays solid foundations for what will be an extremely busy festive period on public transport. The hard work that has been put into this partnership so far will continue throughout the period, to make sure everyone can enjoy themselves.”
Adrian Worsfold, Operations Director at First Manchester, said: “The results announced today showcase the effectiveness of the TravelSafe Partnership and the impact it can have in identifying individuals involved in acts of vandalism towards public transport across Greater Manchester and helping to support our frontline staff. We will continue to support this partnership to ensure that bus travel continues to offer a safe mode of transport for customers across the region.”
Aline Frantzen, Managing Director at KeolisAmey Metrolink, said: “Safety is our number one priority to ensure customers have the best possible experience when travelling on Metrolink and these two weeks of action have made a significant contribution to that.
“Our staff welcomed the opportunity to work with their counterparts through the TravelSafe Partnership and this joined-up approach has helped make the service better for our customers immediately, and will leave a lasting impact too.
“We’ve had positive feedback from people travelling on trams who were pleased to see such a determined effort to improve their journey, safety and security. We look forward to doing more work like this to make Metrolink better for Greater Manchester.”
To report crime on the transport network call Police on 101. Always dial 999 where there is a threat to life or a crime in progress.