24-hour CCTV trams watch

Glossop Advertiser - - News - Char­lotte Cox

METROLINK CCTV cam­eras will now be mon­i­tored 24 hours a day so se­cu­rity teams are ‘always watch­ing’ and can pounce quickly on thugs plagu­ing the net­work.

The new mea­sure is among a raft of pro­pos­als to com­bat on­go­ing an­ti­so­cial and vi­o­lent be­hav­iour – be­hav­iour a coun­cil­lor be­lieves could leave the tram sys­tem ‘doomed’. The on­go­ing prob­lem has also led some coun­cil­lors to ar­gue trans­port lead­ers should go fur­ther with ‘two guards on ev­ery tram’.

But Bev Hughes, deputy mayor for polic­ing and crime, said the 24-hour control room would send a clear message to of­fend­ers. The new strat­egy also in­cludes: lEx­tra pa­trols on the Old­ham and Rochdale line where in­ci­dents have oc­curred lMore PCSOs, of­fi­cers, in­spec­tors and sergeants on the Trav­elSafe team which guards the net­work lFaster roll-out of body cam­eras on se­cu­rity staff lCon­tin­u­ing the bid for new pow­ers to ban thugs from sta­tions and stops lMore school vis­its to ed­u­cate on the im­pact of anti-social be­hav­iour

Mean­while, coun­cil­lors have made their strong­est plea yet for guards on ev­ery tram as well as CCTV. At a Trans­port for Greater Manch­ester com­mit­tee meet­ing to dis­cuss the Metrolink and rail net­work, Coun Doreen Dickinson, the Staly­bridge South mem­ber, called for guards on trams.

Her plea was echoed by a num­ber of coun­cil­lors, while Roger Jones, mem­ber for Ir­lam and Cadishead, said: “We are not crack­ing the anti-social be­hav­iour prob­lem. We fought like mad to get Metrolink in Greater Manch­ester, but if this car­ries on at the level it is we are doomed. The pub­lic will see it’s just not safe and will stop get­ting on Metrolink at cer­tain times.”

Ms Hughes said: “The new mea­sures send a clear message to those com­mit­ting crime and anti-social be­hav­iour on our trans­port net­work that we are always watch­ing – we can and will re­spond im­me­di­ately to ap­pre­hend those re­spon­si­ble.” Chief In­spec­tor Co­lette Rose, from the GMP Trav­elSafe Part­ner­ship, said his team were tar­get­ing hotspots and de­vel­op­ing a long-term plan to re­duce crime through pa­trols and working with schools.

This fol­lows sev­eral months of re­ports of ‘feral’ teenagers ter­ror­is­ing parts of the Metrolink net­work, at­tack­ing driv­ers and break­ing up in­fra­struc­ture like ticket ma­chines.

A TfGM spokesman said: “We’ve con­sid­ered hav­ing ad­di­tional staff on all trams but have no plans to in­tro­duce guards. The ma­jor­ity of re­cent se­ri­ous in­ci­dents have oc­curred away from trams, which on-tram staff would be un­able to at­tend. Last year op­er­a­tor Ke­olisAmey Metrolink em­ployed 24 ad­di­tional se­cu­rity staff to pa­trol the net­work, both on trams and at tram stops. This is in ad­di­tion to 120 Metrolink cus­tomer ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tives Po­lice Com­mu­nity Sup­port Of­fi­cers, and the sup­port we get from Greater Manch­ester Po­lice.”

●● Coun­cil­lors ‘fought like mad’ for Metrolink and have vowed to fight as hard to pro­tect it

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