CRACK­DOWN ON THE TRAM YOBS

Glossop Advertiser - - Front Page - Char­lotte Cox char­lotte.cox@men-news.co.uk @ccox­men­media

aLL Metrolink in­spec­tors will wear a body cam­era to record live footage as part of a crack­down on anti-so­cial be­hav­iour.

There have been scores of vi­o­lent in­ci­dents at sta­tions and on trams in re­cent months – and count­less cases of hooli­gans in­tim­i­dat­ing peo­ple and vandals on the lines.

It is hoped the lat­est move will stamp out thug­gish be­hav­iour and keep com­muters safe.

The new mea­sures are aimed at re­as­sur­ing pas­sen­gers, send­ing a clear mes­sage to would-be crim­i­nals and slash­ing crime and an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour on the be­lea­guered net­works.

The re­sult­ing footage will be us­able in crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions and pro­vide ev­i­dence for pros­e­cu­tion.

Trans­port bosses are also rolling out new high vis­i­bil­ity dig­i­tal signs warn­ing trou­ble­mak­ers they are be­ing filmed on CCTV.

The body cam­eras are al­ready worn by Metrolink’s Trav­elSafe of­fi­cers – the se­cu­rity team ded­i­cated to the net­work.

But now ev­ery pas­sen­ger-fac­ing staff mem­ber will fol­low suit, said Ke­olisAmey, the Metrolink op­er­a­tor. All cus­tomer ser­vice reps – who check tick­ets, help com­muters get around and make sure the net­work is safe – will get a cam­era.

The Metrolink net­work has been at­tacked 1,200 times in the two years to Jan­u­ary 2018 - see page 8.

Yobs have hurled mis­siles, van­dalised trams and stops, com­mit­ted ar­son, smashed win­dows and ha­rassed and as­saulted staff – at times caus­ing se­ri­ous in­jury.

The shock­ing num­ber of in­ci­dents has prompted calls from coun­cil­lors for full-time guards on trams.

But Metrolink bosses say there is no ev­i­dence that would be ef­fec­tive – and have in­stead in­tro­duced a raft of mea­sures, in­clud­ing the new body­cams.

The footage will also help them stop fare-dodgers and care for cus­tomers.

The new sig­nage, mean­while, will re­mind pas­sen­gers there are 2,000 cam­eras on trams, stops, at park and ride sites and cy­cle hubs – and in the de­pots.

The signs are por­ta­ble and will be used to tar­get hotspot ar­eas – like Old­ham, Rochdale and the Air­port line – and com­ple­ment the work done by se­cu­rity staff.

Chris Jack­son, ser­vice de­liv­ery direc­tor at KAM, said re­search showed body­cams pro­mote con­fi­dence and pro­vide back-up in con- fronta­tional sit­u­a­tions. He said the knowl­edge of be­ing filmed ‘mod­er­ates be­hav­iour’ and can de-es­ca­late sit­u­a­tions.

They are also con­tin­u­ing their work with schools and other or­gan­i­sa­tions to tackle the ‘root cause’ of the prob­lem.

Bev Hughes, deputy mayor for polic­ing and crime, said it was im­por­tant for peo­ple to travel with­out be­ing in­tim­i­dated or feel­ing con­cerned about the be­hav­iour of oth­ers.

She said the mea­sures sent the mes­sage to crim­i­nals or those be­hind an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour that they were ‘al­ways watch­ing’.

“Pub­lic trans­port is a safe way to travel and tac­tics such as this, which fur­ther boost safety and se­cu­rity, help us to re­in­force and main­tain that,” she added.

The new roll-out fol­lows the ex­pan­sion of the TfGM con­trol room to run 24/7. The cen­tre, lo­cated at TfGM head­quar­ters at 2 Pic­cadilly Place in Manch­ester city cen­tre, has ac­cess to CCTV footage from the Greater Manch­ester road and Metrolink net­works.

●● Tram staff will wear body­cams sim­i­lar to this

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