Tyne and Wear public transport operator Nexus acknowledged the issue at the latest meeting of Riverside Community Area Forum (CAF) and stressed they are working with police and South Tyneside Council to tackle problems.
Claire Tulley, community relations officer at Nexus, who manage the Metro, along with helping to support bus services, said £1.5million is to be spent across the region on dedicated security teams to help deter troublemakers.
She said: “It’s disappointing that antisocial behaviour has risen since the pandemic.
“We’re keen on working a lot more within South Tyneside and at South Shields interchange, we are aware that because it is an indoor area a lot of youths tend to congregate there.
“Sometimes they can progress to antisocial behaviour and possibly criminal activity so we are working closely with the council, the police and the British Transport Police on that.”
Speaking at a meeting at South Shields Town Hall, she stressed they are also encouraging anyone with information on issues to get in touch to allow them to “target community hot spots”.
Cllr Anne Hetherington, West Park ward representative, said it was positive to know funds would be spent on improving security, noting some elderly residents in particular need support.
She added: “I know I’ve been contacted by some elderly residents who don’t feel safe, particularly at the interchange, and that really needs addressing.
“It’s about how you intend to increase the user confidence in the system. I think that’s been seriously impacted by a lot of this problem.
“Particularly our elderly users, because they do rely a lot on public transport, and we are trying to encourage more use of public transport around South Tyneside.”
Nexus representatives stressed they have already been working with police and British Transport Police to support customer service staff and provide increased security at sites, along with CCTV coverage.
Speaking later on in the meeting, chair Cllr Lynne Proudlock stressed antisocial behaviour is an ongoing issue in the region.
She said: “Everybody, personally and professionally has suffered at the hands of antisocial behaviour, it’s a thing that’s growing.”