The Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Dame Vera Baird has toured the Tyne and Wear Metro to see how it is kept safe and secure for the customers who use the service.
The visit comes as Nexus, which owns the Metro, announced plans to increase the number of customer service staff available on stations and trains around the system to record levels in the coming months.
The issue of anti-social behaviour on Metro, and the ways to tackle the problem, was a key part of the visit. The number of high visibility patrols on Metro has been stepped up to crackdown on disorder and fare evasion.
Nexus hosted the visit alongside the Northumbria Police Metro Unit.
It was a chance for the PCC to see first-hand the use of new body-worn cameras by Metro customer service staff, and the way this is helping them to provide a safe Metro system that passengers can use with confidence.
She met frontline Metro customer service staff and police officers to see how crime and disorder is being tackled on Metro, which is used by 36 million passengers a year, before touring the Metro Control Room in South Gosforth.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird, QC said: “The Metro is a vital part of our region’s infrastructure - so it’s important that partners continue to work hard to tackle ASB when it happens. Nexus is working hard with Northumbria Police to address this type of crime head on - I’ll continue to do all I can to support their work.”
Managing Director of Nexus, Tobyn Hughes, said: “It was great for us to welcome the Police and Crime Commissioner on to the Metro system to see the work that we do, and some of the challenges that our staff and police officers face. The safety and security of our customers is our top priority.
“I know that when Dame Vera first became PCC in 2012 one of her first ports of call was the Metro system, so everyone at Nexus knows how committed she is to ensuring that the system is well policed.
“Crime on Metro remains low and it is fundamentally a safe system for the public to use, but we are not complacent about issues that can arise.
“Our staff are working closely with the police to target issues of anti-social behaviour and ticketless travel and joint patrols have been stepped up. There is now more staff on Metro than ever before.
“Anyone who commits a crime on Metro will end up getting caught and will face prosecution through the courts.”