Hundreds of penalty notices served in operation to tackle Metro troublemakers
Northumbria Police has warned further action is on the way as the weekend approaches, with patrols on the network ramped up after a rise in reports of antisocial behaviour, including young people hanging around in and around stations or causing problems as they travel on the trains.
Operation Hermes was a two-day strike at the end of last week and saw police team up with Metro operators Nexus, colleagues from the British Transport Police, councils and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.
It led to 323 bylaw penalty notices were issued for fare evasion, while seven arrests were made for offences such as criminal damage.
It made a push on speaking to people using the Metro – with more than 800 conversations started – as well as education and enforcement, with a heightened visible as well as plain-clothed officers sent out to keep a watchful eye on passengers.
Most of those spoken to were younger people, with messages passed on about the dangers of the Metro and impact of poor behaviour on others.
Outreach workers were also on hand to suggest other, safer places, where they can spend their time, with 21 young people identified for further intervention through other services.
Chief Inspector Ron Charlton, who led the operation, said: “It was great to engage with so many young people and have constructive conversations about how their actions and the choices they make could potentially impact not only their lives but those of others.
“I want to make it clear to everyone who uses the Metro that our work is far from done and there will be plenty more activity to come.”
Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness also joined officers on the operation.
Nexus tasked 30 of its workers to support the operation in hotspot areas and has said with CCTV in each station and every train, it will not tolerate antisocial behaviour or crime on its network.