Disorder near Metro targeted

A JOINT operation is helping reduce crime and anti-social behaviour at coastal Metro stations.

Operation Coast Watch – run by the police and Metro staff – is targeting potential troublemakers.

The aim is to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour in Cullercoats and Whitley Bay by using high visibility patrols.

Officers from Whitley Bay neighbourhood policing team carried out the initiative on two days last week with Metro ticket inspectors.

Neighbourhood Inspector Jim Gray said: “Officers were on hand to reassure the travelling public that any rowdy or criminal behaviour would be swiftly dealt with.

“We want to remind people that officers are available to help them and are committed to preventing crime and disorder.”

“Operation Coast Watch will be repeated regularly over the coming months.”

As a result of the initiative officers had cause to stop and check 49 people – five young people had alcohol seized from them, six people were issued with a ‘direction to leave notice’, banning them from the area for up to 48 hours, and one person was arrested for theft.

In addition, Metro staff issued fines to 35 people for Metro bye-law offences.

Richard McClean, managing director of Metro operator DB Regio Tyne and Wear, said: “Passenger safety is a priority for Metro and, through this partnership, we will be clamping down on anti-social behaviour as we want to demonstrate that Metro will simply not tolerate trouble making or any wrong doing on the network.

“The initiative will see increased visibility of Metro staff at coastal Metro stations and across the network relevant to this area to ensure any criminal offences are kept to a minimum and acted upon immediately.”