Marshals to make a comeback

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TAXI marshals will be returning to North Tyneside this Christmas to help revellers get home safely over the party season.

The scheme, funded by North Tyneside Strategic Partnership, aims to help cut the potential for trouble among people forced to wait for cabs after spending the night out in Whitley Bay or Tynemouth.

Marshals will operate at taxi ranks in Whitley Bay’s South Parade on Thursdays, Saturdays and some Friday nights from tonight to Saturday, December 31, and in Tynemouth’s Front Street on Friday and Saturday evenings from tomorrow until Sunday, January 1.

Inspector Jim Gray, of Whitley Bay neighbourhood policing team, said: “We’re pleased taxi marshals will once again be working in Whitley Bay.

“They free up officers to prevent and deal with incidents of crime and disorder.

“Most people who queue for a taxi are patient and good-humoured, but the small minority who become violent will be dealt with effectively by police.”

Inspector Geoff Cross, of North Shields neighbourhood policing team, said: “Tynemouth is becoming an increasingly popular place for people to enjoy for a night out.

“We’ve seen taxi marshals here before and know they make a real difference.

“The feedback we’ve had from visitors is that they notice them and value their presence, and this makes their visit more enjoyable.”

Borough mayor Linda Arkley, also chairman of the strategic partnership, added: “We want Whitley Bay’s residents and visitors have a safe and enjoyable festive period.

“People have told me they welcome the presence of the taxi marshals, and I’m delighted we have been able to ensure their return.”