Extra police patrols are taking place on Metro during the busy spring and summer season, where beaches and beauty spots are likely to attract more visitors as lockdown measures start to ease.
Operation Coastwatch – an annual initiative that creates a holistic approach to tackling disorder and anti-social behaviour along our award-winning coastline - is back for 2021, earlier than ever before.
The operation will see an increase in officers patrolling alongside Nexus staff on the Metro network, and Council wardens to tackle any anti-social behaviour and ensure local residents aren’t disturbed.
The annual initiative encourages communities to enjoy their light nights safely and responsibly and be respectful of residents and our beautiful beaches.
North Tyneside Neighbourhood Inspector Nicola Seymour said: “Op Coastwatch is an annual operation that normally focusses on the Easter holidays and summer months.
“But with Covid-19 restrictions in place and many popular places to visit due to remain closed for some time, our beaches have been busier than usual and we think it’s imperative to launch the Operation early.”
Activity will include extra patrols, preventative work at Metros to disrupt and stop any disorder before it reaches communities and beach wardens to monitor coastal activity.
Officers will also be gathering cross-agency intelligence on anyone found to be taking part in criminality or disorder as well as carrying out modified CCTV plans to best utilise resources and capture disorder for prosecution.
Inspector Seymour added: “A lot of planning goes into these types of initiatives and that doesn’t stop once the annual initiative launches, going forward every weeks’ efforts will be tailored, factoring in warm weather, Bank Holidays and summer trends.
“We know that local residents and businesses have concerns around anti-social behaviour and disorder and we want to reassure them that we, along with our partners, are here to continue to support and protect communities.”
Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “Our frontline customer support teams on Metro have a key role to play in supporting the police on the latest Operation Coastwatch.
“The aim is to provide that reassuring presence for people who do need to travel and to deal with any issues of anti-social behaviour, fare evasion and non-compliance with the face covering rule.
“More people will start travelling as Covid-19 restrictions start to ease, but for now the Government’s message is that you should minimise the number of journeys that you make.
“Nexus invests £1m a year on policing on the Tyne and Wear Metro system and through excellent joint working with the Northumbria Force we work hard to ensure the system is safe and secure.
“Customers are assured that this work will continue as we emerge from the lockdown and build back to normality after the pandemic.”