Thirteen arrests during first fortnight of Metrolink operation

Thirteen people were arrested during the first two weeks of an operation to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour on Metrolink.

Operation Infinity was launched 13 August in response to a spate of incidents on the Rochdale and Oldham line.

Officers and staff from the TravelSafe Partnership (TSP) were deployed across the line to deter and disrupt criminality.

The operation was supported by the Mounted Unit and Youth Engagement Officers from Oldham Council.

During the first two weeks, thirteen people were arrested for a range of incidents including public order, theft, fraud, possession of cannabis, breach of parole and wanted on warrant.

Officers spoke to 153 young people to ensure they were safe. Several were safeguarded and will receive further support.

Superintendent Julie Ellison said: “Operation Infinity sends out a clear message to perpetrators that we will not tolerate crime and antisocial behaviour on the Metrolink.

“Thankfully the majority of journeys take place without any issue but unfortunately there are a small minority intent on causing misery and we will not allow our transport network to be abused in such a way.

“Our operation is set to continue over the next few weeks and I’d encourage anyone with concerns to alert staff, call police or report using our LiveChat function on the GMP website.”

Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) Head of Metrolink, Danny Vaughan, said:  “The ability to share information between transport operators and the police and use it to plan targeted operations such as this is one of the major advantages of having a dedicated TravelSafe unit.

“It is really important that every member of our community feels safe to travel without feeling intimidated or concerned by the behaviour of others.

“Public transport is a safe way to travel and the work of the Travelsafe Partnership helps to reinforce and maintain that.”

Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Bev Hughes said: “The early success of Operation Infinity is testament to the hard work everybody involved has put in so far and is a big step in achieving our goal of improving safety and reducing crime on the Rochdale and Oldham tram lines.

“It’s now time to build on this success and keep the pressure up, so over the coming weeks we’ll maintain an increased presence across our transport network to send a clear message; that crime or anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and offenders will be caught.”

KeolisAmey Metrolink’s (KAM) Managing Director, Aline Frantzen, said: “Antisocial behaviour, crime and fare evasion are community issues. Partnership working alongside Greater Manchester Police, the TravelSafe Partnership, Oldham Council and members of the community along the Oldham and Rochdale line are part of ongoing work to tackle it together.

“Initial results from Operation Infinity are significant for KAM, and highlight the benefits of a shared approach.”

The TSP exists to keep public transport safe across Greater Manchester by offering reassurance to passengers and preventing and dealing with incidents of crime and antisocial behaviour.

The scheme is led by TfGM and Greater Manchester Police 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.

The TSP also operates an extensive youth education programme, which includes visits to school and youth groups to educate and inform on the effects of antisocial behaviour on victims.

To report a crime contact Greater Manchester Police on 101 or use the LiveChat function on the GMP website. In an emergency dial 999.

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