Northumbria Police and Nexus have teamed up for a major anti-social behaviour crackdown on the Tyne and Wear Metro to both protect and educate passengers on the network. Operation Hermes took place over a two day period in late August with a range of tactics deployed including the use of archway knife detectors and wands, undercover work and outreach.
Chief Inspector Ron Charlton, who led the operation, said: “In the past month officers have noticed a spike in reports of anti-social behaviour and crime on Metro services and at stations. Post lockdown, stations and services have become a popular haunt for youths and we’re working with partners to address issues and discourage people from seeing stations as a meeting hub. Instead we want to encourage more people to make use of our fabulous and inclusive metro line and offer them assurances that police and partners are doing all we can to make our metro a safe and enjoyable option for all users, whether they’re daily commuters, occasional travellers or tourists. We want our local metro to thrive and this operation re-iterates our commitment to keeping metro users safe.”
Plain clothed police officers have been travelling on the Metro with other officers also there to engage and educate and deal with vulnerability and conduct outreach work to steer young people away from using Metro stations as a social gathering hub.
Martin Kearney, Nexus Chief Operating Officer, said: “Anti-social behaviour won’t be tolerated on the Metro system and we are working with the police to tackle this issue. Extra police and staff are on patrol to deal with any issued and provide customers with reassurance as they travel on the network. We also have plain clothed police operating on system through this large-scale operation. Nexus invests £1m a year on policing the system and we have an excellent joint working relationship with the Northumbria Force. Overall crime on Metro remains low but we are working hard to tackle low level issues of bad behaviour and fare evasion which can drift on to the system in suburban areas. Anyone who gets caught causing trouble on Metro faces arrest and prosecution through the courts and a possible ban from travelling.”