Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, said the campaign – titled not big, not clever, not here – was its latest response to feedback from customers who want to see more done to improve security on the network.
The campaign will be highly visible on Metro stations and on trains, making clear anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated. It builds on the investment Nexus has already made in policing, extra security teams, and improved CCTV.
The new and more efficient system for customers to make reports directly to the Metro control room by discreetly sending a text message from a mobile phone is up and running.
Customers can ‘report it, to sort it’ by discreetly texting ‘REPORTIT’ to 66777 followed by details of the anti-social behaviour they are reporting. This could be anything from vandalism, graffiti, rowdy behaviour and holding doors open to abusing and threatening employees.
The system sends an alert directly to a screen on the customer service desk at Metro’s South Gosforth control room, from where the appropriate action can be taken swiftly, and security staff deployed where required.
In the event of an emergency people should still dial 999 and dial 101 for non-emergency stations that require the police to attend straight away, Nexus said.
Cathy Massarella, Interim Managing Director said: “Our customers want to see more done about anti-social behaviour and we are acting on that with this new campaign and the roll out of our new text alert system.
“We are determined to ensure that Metro is a safe and secure environment for our customers to travel on. We have already invested hugely in policing, extra security and new CCTV cameras and are working closely with the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner.
“This new campaign is really visible and demonstrates that we have an ongoing commitment to tackling issues of disorder and bad behaviour on our network.
“The new technology that we’ve had installed at our Gosforth control room is faster and more effective than the current text alert system. By texting us on 66777 you get through to the customer service desk straight away and the message appears immediately on their screen so it can be reviewed and the necessary action taken to support the person who has messaged us.
“It’s a system that we hope will give much greater confidence to customers that when they are travelling with us it’s really quick and easy to report something discreetly.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “All measures that help fight and prevent crime on our public transport get my full backing. This new way of reporting is a further example of how we are all listening to the concerns raised by passengers and are responding with a range of solutions to make people safer when travelling about our region.
“From improving reporting and engaging with young people, right through to strengthening the policing presence across the network, we are noticing a positive impact. I’m confident the work from the Safer Transport Northumbria project along with this new campaign and technology from Nexus, will keep driving disorder down.”
This new reporting system supports the recent investment in a dedicated security team who patrol on the majority of trains on the network. This has taken the security presence on the Metro network to its highest ever level and provides customer reassurance.
Nexus has also previously invested in body worn CCTV for its frontline staff and improved digital CCTV cameras on Metro, as well as annually spending £750,000 on a dedicated Northumbria Police Metro police unit.
Delivery of the first new Stadler Class 555 Tyne & Wear Metro train has taken place. The new unit is undergoing testing on the network prior to the entry of the fleet later this year. see here