Nexus has welcomed Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness’s successful bid for Safer Streets funding from the Government.
The PCC has promised to improve transport and park safety with an £800,000 investment in CCTV, Metro safety volunteers, increased lighting and a new reporting app.
The police commissioner is investing in two new packages of Safer Streets funding after hearing from women, passengers and park visitors setting out the places in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear where they feel less safe.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, worked in partnership with the Commissioner and welcomed the funding, announcement which builds on the work it is already doing to keep the network safe and secure for customers.
The police commissioner is investing in two new packages of Safer Streets funding after hearing from women, passengers, and park visitors to setting out the places in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear where they feel less safe.
The investment follows national concern around women’s safety in light of the tragic murder of Sarah Everard.
The first safety package will see the Commissioner work with Nexus, bus operators, and the regional transport board on a £400,000 package including:
• A new reporting app to transform how all passengers report crime and anti-social behaviour
• Body-worn cameras for transport staff
• Street Pastor-style safety volunteers on patrol across the Metro network
• Extra CCTV linked to control rooms.
Police Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “I want Northumberland, Tyne and Wear to have a first-class public transport network in which women and all passengers feel safe to travel. This £800,000 is a vital first step towards that.
“When people are on a bus or a Metro they should know that there is always help at hand. We want to give the reporting of anti-social behaviour a complete overhaul and make it so much easier for local people to get the help they need when they need it.
“We also want to implement practical solutions like help points and improve lighting. We want to support all this with educational campaigns to raise awareness and promote the support services that people can turn to.
Chief Operating Officer at Nexus, Martin Kearney, said: “We have worked in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner to build the Safer Streets bid and we’re delighted that it’s been successful.
“It is vital customers feel safe on public transport at all times and we look forward to working with Kim McGuinness and our police force on this scheme.
“Crime rates on the Tyne and Wear Metro are low for a network of its size, but we will never stop working to build customer confidence and deal with anti-social behaviour.
“Nexus has already invested in new CCTV and body worn cameras, and we are committed to increasing the visibility of customer support staff on to the network later this year. The Safer Streets funding bid will really help us to build on this work and we can’t wait to get started.”
Cllr Martin Gannon, Gateshead Council leader and chair of the region’s joint transport committee, welcomed the announcement.
He said: “It is great to see this investment to make public transport safer in the region. We recently set out a roadmap in the 2021 North East Transport Plan to build on the infrastructure in place to achieve a safer and more attractive transport network, which reflects many of the findings from the recent survey.
“This is a big step towards making people feel safe on our streets so that there is higher take up of walking and cycling, which are the greenest and healthiest forms of travel, as well as public transport use in the region.”