Crime across the region’s transport networks has increased

Date published: 11 April 2016

The number of recorded incidents of crime across the region’s transport networks has increased by 14%, with more assaults, criminal damage and incidents of robbery and thefts recorded.

The Greater Manchester Travelsafe Unit (TSU) says the overall increase can be explained in part by the establishment of the TSU itself, which has led to officers actively seeking out and tackling incidents of crime and antisocial behaviour and an increase in reporting due to greater public confidence.

The figures also mirror a 14% increase in overall victim-based crime reported across Greater Manchester as a whole in the 12 months to the end of August 2015.

There was an 8% reduction in the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour compared with the same period the previous year. Reported incidents of substance misuse fell by 27% and 'other' crimes and incidents by 61%.

The TSU made 196 arrests, boarded 16,234 vehicles and issued 10,313 fixed penalty notices for ticketing offences.

Uniformed officers visited 24 schools and held 138 crucial crew events across the region to educate youngsters on the dangers, impacts and consequences of crime, antisocial behaviour and fare evasion on public transport.

They have also seized alcohol from those found drinking it underage and returned 21 vulnerable children and young adults to their homes.

Transport for Greater Manchester’s Metrolink Director, Peter Cushing, said: “Considering the tens of millions of journeys made across the bus and tram networks every year, public transport is undoubtedly a safe way to travel and the TSU is doing a phenomenal job keeping commuters even safer.

“The increase we’ve seen in the number reported incidents – many of which relate to low-level nuisance behaviour – will, in part, stem from the TSU’s extensive patrolling of the networks and their engagement with our communities, both of which increases confidence in the public to report crime and ASB, but they also reflect a trend across Greater Manchester, which reinforces the need to take a proactive, collaborative approach to tackling these issues.

“So we are committed to growing the unit and its first year has already delivered notable successes: from school engagement programmes and addressing fare evasion to drug seizures and notable arrests, including the arrest of a man who was one of the most wanted in the country.

“Everybody has the right to travel without the fear of crime and through the Travelsafe Unit and close partnership working across the board, our aim is to continue to make people feel safe, deter criminality and effectively deal with any incidents that could affect public safety.”

Assistant Chief Constable John O’Hare said: “We launched the TSU because we wanted people to feel safe on public transport and I’m delighted that it is already having a positive impact on crime and disorder.

“It is important to us that people are able to travel in a safe environment and as the network continues to grow, we will work hard to ensure that incidents of crime and antisocial behaviour do not rise alongside it.

“We would urge anyone who sees any incidents occurring on trams to report them to the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or to Metrolink staff directly.”

The TSU comprises of a team of police constables, police community support officers, special constables and security personnel.

Led by TfGM and Greater Manchester Police (GMP), the scheme allows contributing operators – Metrolink RATP Dev Ltd (MRDL), First Manchester and Stagecoach – to share intelligence as well as crime and antisocial behaviour data.

The scheme has been funded for three years but will be subject to formal annual reviews and regular scrutiny by a strategy group made up of members from organisations involved.

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