Parliamentarians are set to debate whether to grant Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) greater powers to prevent anti-social behaviour on the transport network.
In November last year Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, submitted a request to the Home Secretary, to extend powers under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
The move would allow TfGM to apply to the courts for civil injunctions banning troublemakers from tram and/or bus stops, stations or interchanges. They could also be prevented from using Metrolink or certain bus services.
The request was approved, subject to parliamentary approval, and is due to be debated by Lords today, Wednesday 12 December. The process is expected to complete in the New Year.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “While the number of incidents of crime and ASB are small compared to the number of journeys that are made every year, such incidents can and do erode confidence in a person’s decision whether or not to use public transport.
“That is unacceptable and I will not allow the small minority who intimidate, threaten or abuse transport workers and commuters to think they can do so with impunity.
“Not only would granting TfGM these powers enable fast and effective protection for victims, it would set a clear standard of behaviour for perpetrators, stopping it from escalating without criminalising the individual.
“I am committed to doing everything I can to ensure people are and feel safe when they use our trams and buses, that is why we made the request and that is why I urge Lords and MPs to get behind this amendment.”
Should the request be accepted the powers would complement the work currently being done under the TravelSafe Partnership, a multi-agency approach to tackling crime and anti-social behaviour on Greater Manchester transport.
With more than 240 million journeys made on the region’s buses and trams each year the chance of being a victim of or witness to ASB remains low, however year-on-year increases have been reported by Metrolink, bus stations and bus services*, with 2,334 incidents reported in 2013/14; 2,862 in ‘14/15; 3,730 in ‘15/16 and 3,984 in ‘16/17.