Services on the Oldham and Rochdale line were temporarily suspended on Thursday 14th June after at least three trams were targeted by local youths throwing stones causing windows to be smashed. The attacks started at around 1830 between Hollinwood and Failsworth with one person having to be treated for having glass in the eye.
Following these attacks the Police were called and Travelsafe Officers searched the area before trams were allowed to travel through the area again. Overt and covert patrols were then in place for the remainder of the evening and will continue in the area going forward. CCTV from the tram will be studied to see if there is any evidence which can be handed to the Police.
Danny Vaughan, TfGM Head of Metrolink, said: “This is not a harmless prank or victimless crime; as well as one person injuring their eye, three trams were damaged and services had to be temporarily suspended because of the mindless behaviour of those responsible. We know from people who’ve been caught before that they don’t think of the consequences of their actions – which is why engagement programmes such as Crucial Crew is so important. But next time they’re thinking about launching a brick at a tram or a bus they need to think long and hard about how they’d feel if their parent, grandparent or sibling was the one sitting next to the window when it smashes – because at best it’s distressing and at worst can cause serious injury. With days staying lighter for longer kids tend to stay out later, and I’d appeal to parents to know what their children are up to and who they are with as they are key to helping solve the problem – which is prevalent across many areas, including our transport networks.”
Although these high profile attacks are being reported once again reports of anti social behaviour had been reducing as a result of joint operations with the other agencies within the TravelSafe Partnership and local policing teams following a spare of incidents in the local area earlier in the year. Unfortunately these attacks have shown that there is still a long way to go to teach those taking part in these attacks how dangerous they are.