A crackdown on crime and antisocial behaviour on the region’s transport network has been launched today (Monday 6 November).
The two-week initiative has been launched by the TravelSafe Partnership (TSP) and will see police and TravelSafe officers using a range of tactics to keep people safe on the region’s sprawling bus and tram networks, which cater for more than 240 million journeys each year.
Some of the activity during the fortnight long operation will include covert and high visibility TravelSafe officers on board public transport, as well as being deployed on the platforms and bus stations to deter and tackle criminality. The team will also execute warrants issued by court enforcement officials to retrieve unpaid fines.
Chief Inspector Tariq Butt, who leads the partnership for GMP said: “This operation shows our commitment to keeping people safe while using public transport across Greater Manchester. As well as working across the whole network, we will be using a drone to deter antisocial behaviour in Rochdale, and using the presence on public transport to support vulnerable people, such as those who are missing from home or at risk of criminal exploitation.
“We want this initiative to act as a message to our communities, commuters and those people committing crime and antisocial behaviour - we are taking the issue seriously and will see that justice is served against those offenders causing misery across the travel network.”
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.
Greater Manchester's Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Beverley Hughes said: “Public safety is our top priority and that is why we are stepping up our patrols to crack down on crime and anti-social behaviour on our travel network.
“Already this year I have provided extra funding to the Chief Constable for 50 additional PCSOs for the public transport network. We are committed to creating an environment in Greater Manchester where crime and anti-social behaviour is not tolerated. This two-week initiative will give our police officers, PCSOs and TravelSafe officers the opportunity to reassure the people of Greater Manchester that our travel network is safe and welcoming for all.”
TfGM’s Customer Director, Stephen Rhodes, said: “The ability to share information between transport operators and the police and use it to plan targeted operations such as this is one of the major advantages of having a dedicated TravelSafe unit.
“It is really important that every member of our community feels safe to travel without feeling intimidated or concerned by the behaviour of others. Public transport is a safe way to travel and the TravelSafe Partnership helps to reinforce and maintain that.”