Keeping public transport safe

who we are

The Greater Manchester TravelSafe Partnership (TSP) exists to keep public transport safe across Greater Manchester by offering reassurance to passengers and preventing and dealing with incidents of crime, antisocial behaviour and fare evasion. The scheme is led by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) with support from contributing operators KeolisAmey Metrolink, Stagecoach and First Manchester.

Under the TSP, a dedicated team of Police Constables (PCs), Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), Special Constables (SCs) and TravelSafe Officers (TSOs) provide regular patrols on the region’s networks.

Why we were set up

The TSP was established to reduce antisocial behaviour and crime on the region’s public transport network. The team also provide reassurance and high visibility.

Our purpose

The TSP was established to reduce antisocial behaviour and crime on the region’s public transport network. The team also provide reassurance and high visibility.

 

 

The partners

How we work

The TSP uses crime and antisocial behaviour data from GMP, as well as the contributing operators, to target their patrols in the areas and at the times where they are most needed to support front line staff.

Having a dedicated team provides shared expertise and knowledge that not only helps with the deployment of patrols and operations, but also helps identify repeat offenders.

The partnership can be deployed in a number of bespoke ways, including plain-clothes foot patrols and on mountain bikes when appropriate.

Gateway checks have been established by the Customer Services Team at Metrolink to address the issue of fare evasion. The TSOs are in place to support the customer service officers around public order offences that may arise as a result. Fare evasion is an offence under the Fraud Act and is dealt with as theft by police and officials.

The team also works closely with neighbourhood and specialist policing teams that can provide further support as and when necessary and other key partners, such as the 10 local councils.

As well as enforcement, the TSP also focuses on prevention and education, with uniformed officers visiting schools to educate youngsters on the dangers, impacts and consequences of crime, antisocial behaviour and fare evasion on public transport.

Youth Education Programme

The TSP operates a Youth Education Programme to help promote safer travel on the public transport network across Greater Manchester. Under this programme, uniformed officers from the partnership visit local schools and youth groups to talk to young people about the dangers, impacts and consequences of crime, antisocial behaviour and fare evasion. If you are a school or youth group and would like to engage with the TSP then please contact us on 0161 244 1000.

 

 

Case studies

The TSP has had many notable successes, including: arrest of high-profile/most wanted individuals; support of multiple major events; safeguarding vulnerable members of the public, including children. Here are some examples of the work done by the partnership.

Leigh to Ellenbrook guided busway

The bus provides transport links from Leigh into the city centre via Salford. In Spring 2017, the busway saw high levels of antisocial behaviour and criminality. This ranged from youths throwing stones at passing busses, to shooting at them with air weapons. One of the more alarming incidents saw a large slab placed across the track in an attempt to de-rail a bus. Reports were also made by residents about stones being thrown and litter around the area.

As a result, the TSP deployed officers at the site and in the area during peak times. It included pedal cycle patrols and saw officers engage with transport users to ensure they were happy with the work being carried out. The team also spoke to those offenders carrying out the acts, alongside the neighbourhood policing teams.

The actions of the TSP resulted in reductions in antisocial behaviour and crime.

Hollinwood Metrolink stop

The Metrolink stop at Hollinwood has, in recent months, experienced an increase in levels of antisocial behaviour and criminality. These incidents were highly publicised in the media.

Between 17 February and 5 March 2017, a fair was held near to the stop and attracted a number of young people. A number of these young people would travel to the fair via the tram network and during this time would abuse drink and drugs. This subsequently led to antisocial behaviour and disorder. Action was taken by the TSP, supported by customer service representatives from Metrolink, resulting in alcohol being confiscated and a number of children were returned home to their parents.

There were concerns over the number of max power type cars parked outside the tram station and being driven antisocially. TSOs, Metrolink staff and members of the Roads Policing Unit worked together to communicate with cruise organisers and attendees that these events were unauthorised and not approved by Metrolink. As a result, a designated public places order (DPPO) was made on the car park by Metrolink to prevent cars from gathering and being driven in an antisocial way. Since the order was made, there has been no further incidents.

Antisocial Behaviour (ASB)

What is antisocial behaviour?

The Crime and Disorder Act (1998) defines antisocial behaviour as “any behaviour which causes, or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons". On the public transport network, this can include; vandalism, smoking, drunken behaviour, throwing stones/objects and threats/abuse and intimidation towards passengers or staff.

There are numerous examples of the type of action that authorities can take to deal with antisocial behaviour, including;

  • Home visits
  • Preventative educational work in schools
  • Engagement with schools to deal with behaviour
  • Sharing information with Local Authorities
  • Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs)
  • Restorative Justice
  • Banning Orders from stations or services
  • Injunctions
  • Antisocial Behaviour Orders (ASBOs)
  • Criminal Antisocial Behaviour Orders (CRASBOs)

Advice

The TSP does a lot of work to ensure that the bus and tram networks in Greater Manchester are as safe as possible and, overall, the crime rate on public transport is low. However, we are measured and realistic in our approach and we appreciate that patrols cannot physically be at all the region’s Metrolink stops or bus stops, stations and interchanges, or on every single tram or bus every minute of the day. With this in mind, there are certain things you can do to help ensure your own personal safety.

Safety and Security Tips:

  • If you feel concerned about your safety on the bus, sit close to the driver. If you are on the tram or train, move to a carriage where there are other people.
  • Keep keys separate from anything with your address on it. If you are travelling, thieves may assume your house is empty
  • Pickpockets love crowds, so keep bags to the front, closed with the fastening towards the body and be particularly careful with rucksacks.
  • Plan your journey in advance as much as possible. Make sure you know your route and stop, and check the times of the last bus, tram or train.
  • Always try to wait for your bus/tram/train in a well-lit place.
  • Have your ticket, pass or change ready in your hand so that your purse or wallet is out of sight and make sure that you keep valuables like mobile phones, cash and jewellery out of sight.
  • If you see something that concerns you can speak to a member of staff. You can also use any of the help points on all Metrolink trams and at all 93 stops to speak to a member of staff.
  • To report an incident to the police call 101. In an emergency always dial 999.

Keep in touch