Undercover cops to target vandals on Metro system

Undercover police officers are to be deployed on the Metro to tackle vandals.

Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 9:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 4:37 pm
Operation Hades will see undercover officers deployed on the Metro.

Teenage troublemakers have been warned they face serious repercussions following the launch of Operation Hades which will see plain-clothed cops and Nexus staff on the Metro network as part of an anti-social behaviour crackdown.

The operation follows a spate of incidents reported on trains across North Tyneside since the turn of the year – which have included youths kicking out Metro train windows and acting in an anti-social manner towards other passengers and Metro staff.

Last Friday, a group of youths kicked out ten windows of a Metro carriage near Four Lane Ends, which resulted in the train being taken out of service.

Police have now warned that any offenders on the Metro network face swift prosecution – because their fellow passengers might actually be undercover cops.

Sergeant Tim Hand, of Northumbria Police’s Metro Unit, said: “Our priority is to always to make sure passengers enjoy the Metro service in a safe and hassle-free environment.

“Over the last few weeks, we have been made aware of increasing incidents of disorder on trains across the network – especially in North Tyneside between Benton and Howdon.

“This type of behaviour is totally unacceptable and we will take robust action against anybody who brings misery to their fellow passengers or staff.

“Operation Hades will see officers and Nexus staff in plain clothes boarding trains across the network so our message to offenders is clear – misbehave at your peril, as you may be surprised who else is sat in the same carriage.”

The operation will run over a number of weeks and see undercover cops and Nexus staff targeting troublemakers both during the day and at night.

A Nexus spokesman said: “We’re working closely with the police to crackdown on anti-social behaviour on the Tyne and Wear Metro - and this now extends to joint patrols with our staff and police officers in plain clothes.

“Recent incidents of criminal damage where train windows have been kicked out are totally unacceptable and we are determined to find those responsible.

“Overall crime on Metro remains low but there is a small minority who seem determined to spoil it for law abiding passengers who use the service to travel around.

“Anyone who gets caught damaging our trains will face prosecution through the courts and a possible ban from the Metro system.

“Nexus spends almost £500,000 a year cleaning up behind vandals who show no regard for the inconvenience they cause other people – or the cost to the taxpayer. We are determined to take a tough line on confronting this problem.”

Anyone who sees disorder is asked to call police on 101. In an emergency, ring 999.