Ongoing work to stamp out antisocial behaviour on the Metrolink network has received a double boost .
All KeolisAmey Metrolink’s Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are now being deployed with body-worn video cameras recording live footage and new high visibility signs are being rolled out to highlight and warn potential troublemakers that their actions will be caught on CCTV.
The new body-worn cameras, which will be clearly visible to passengers, aim to reassure the public and cut down crime and antisocial behaviour (ASB) by recording high quality live footage that can be used to assist criminal investigations and provide evidence for prosecution.
They will be used to support CSRs in their day-to-day work, which includes revenue protection, security and customer care. The cameras are already being worn by Metrolink’s TravelSafe Officers, a security team dedicated to the UK’s largest light rail system.
While the new high-visibility signs, which have been introduced across the network, will remind Metrolink passengers of its extensive CCTV coverage, with more than 2000 cameras on trams, stops, park and ride sites, cycle hubs and in the depots.
The signs are portable and will be used to target hotspot areas and complement the work done by the Travelsafe Partnership.
Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Bev Hughes, said: “It’s really important that every member of our community feels safe to travel without being intimidated or unduly concerned by the behaviour of others and these measures will reassure them that we take their safety and security extremely seriously.
“It also sends the message to those committing crime and antisocial behaviour on our transport network that we are always watching.
“Public transport is a safe way to travel and tactics such as this, which further boost safety and security, help us to reinforce and maintain that.”
Chris Jackson, Service Delivery Director at KAM, said: “We are committed to enhancing customer experience and improving their safety through our long-term plan to reduce ASB across the network.
“Research shows that use of bodycams promotes confidence and provides a tangible backup in confrontational situations. It helps moderate behaviour, and making customers aware that recording is in progress often de-escalates a situation.
“The portable hi-visibility signage can be moved around to target hotspot areas and, together with the bodycams, will reassure our customers we are stepping-up our tactics to tackle ASB and will not tolerate it on the network.
“We are continuing to work with our partners, schools and other organisations to tackle the root cause and deal with those responsible.”
The new measures follow Transport for Greater Manchester’s announcement last month that it was expanding its control centre hours to operate 24 hours, seven days a week. The centre, located at TfGM headquarters at 2 Piccadilly Place in Manchester city centre, has access to CCTV footage from the Greater Manchester road and Metrolink networks.