Nexus, the company which runs the Tyne and Wear Metro, has announced that security will be deployed on the majority of the system’s evening services in an attempt to provide customer reassurance and tackle anti-social behaviour.
It will take the security presence on the network to its highest level in the history of the Metro with security personnel on board almost every service from 7pm throughout the week and weekends.
The public body which owns and manages Metro said it had listened to feedback from its customers and the Metro team before making this significant commitment in an aim to provide greater reassurance to people using public transport in the evening.
The cost of the expanded security team is being met from increased Metro revenue, together with a contribution from the Safer Streets ASB and transport initiative provided by the Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness’ office and will start operating from the Spring Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May.
It will provide a specific presence on board Metro trains to provide customer reassurance, and to deter anti-social behaviour, working alongside Northumbria Police, the British Transport Police, and the Metro Customer Service Team.
Managing Director of Nexus, Martin Kearney, said: “This represents a major change in how we operate, providing reassurance and support to our customers and the Metro team.
“We will provide a security presence on the majority of Metro services from 7pm every evening. We are grateful to the Police and Crime Commissioner and local authorities for their support. By working together we can ensure public transport is safe for everyone. This commitment will take the security presence on Metro to its highest ever level.
“The security team will work alongside the dedicated police patrols we get from the Northumbria Force, and from the British Transport Police on the Sunderland line.
“We have listened to what customers and our Metro team have asked for. People said there needed to be a greater visible presence of security on board the Metro trains at night and we are delivering on that.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “Reliable, affordable and crucially, safe – that’s what people tell me they want from our public transport services and this is an example of how, together, we are delivering on this. Our Metro connects our communities and links people to opportunities, and it’s so important that people feel safe and comfortable when on board.
“These enhanced security measures are a welcome boost supporting our continued policing efforts and other Safer Transport Northumbria initiatives I’m funding such as youth engagement and focused days of action. Sustainable transport options like the Metro need investing in to make travel safer in the North East and I will keep fighting for this because it matters to local people and will help our region thrive.”
Nexus has already invested in body worn CCTV for its frontline staff and improved digital CCTV cameras on the system, as well as annually spending £1.2m on a dedicated Metro police unit.