Transport Unit launched to boost public travel confidence

GREATER Manchester Police has launched a new Transport Unit to tackle incidents across the region’s transport network.

More than 50 police officers now make up the dedicated team to help keep the public even safer.

Last year, Oldham West and Royton MP Jim McMahon called for a major overhaul of the way the tram system is policed amid serious concerns about safety in and around certain stops.

And the Metrolink line through to Shaw and Newhey is often plagued with anti-social behaviour.

The new unit will provide a response to support local districts and partners to deal with ongoing crimes and incidents affecting public transport and issues on the road network such as illegal mobile phone use and seatbelts.

GMP say early results were successful, with several people arrested by officers including a 44-year-old man arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct, intoxicated on a tram, failure to provide details and resisting arrest.

A 41-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly at Manchester Victoria station.

He was issued with a Community Resolution with conditions to seek support for alcohol issues and not to enter the Manchester Arena when intoxicated.

Further incidents included a driver receiving a traffic offence report after being stopped for driving in the dark without any lights and a missing girl reunited with her family following a report concerning her welfare.

The team will provide a proactive policing presence across the region’s transport network and work to support the wider TravelSafe Partnership (TSP), which includes Transport for Greater Manchester and public transport operators.

Superintendent Julie Ellison said: “The Transport Unit is committed to supporting our local neighbourhood teams and partners.

“The new team is made up entirely of police officers and this provides us with more powers to address issues on the whole transport network.”

Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester, Bev Hughes, said: “When people use the transport systems in place across the city-region they expect that they will be safe – and rightly so.

“The changes are partly-funded through an increase in local council tax, responding to residents’ calls for tougher policing on the transport network, and the investment will enable tougher enforcement, stopping offenders in their tracks and keeping the public safe.”

The TSP also benefits from TfGM and Metrolink’s control rooms, which have an extensive range of CCTV cameras monitored 24/7.

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