Manchester

Greater Manchester Metrolink: New police squad to replace PCSOs on trams

Metrolink tram
Image caption The unit will replace PCSOs

A new specialist police unit is to replace community support officers in tackling crime on Greater Manchester's tram network.

The 63-strong Eccles-based team, led by an inspector, will also have five sergeants and 57 constables.

They will replace the 50 police community support officers who are currently deployed on the Metrolink network.

It is proposed that the unit will be launched in October.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service says the move is being funded by an increase in the police precept that will raise an additional £18m for Greater Manchester Police.

April's rise meant average Band D households pay £24 more this year.

'Crime hot spots'

Deputy Chief Constable Ian Pilling said the force needed "harder enforcement" after a spate of crimes on the tram network prompted safety concerns for passengers, 

Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester Baroness Hughes said the investment would enable "tougher enforcement" and help keep the public safe.

Officers will be deployed on foot or bikes in areas where data analysts have indentified crime hot spots.

Other proposed duties will include:

  • providing a mobile response to "crime-in-action" around the transport system
  • "restoring the Metrolink system" following a collision or significant disruption, such as vehicles being stuck on the tracks
  • backing the wider city centre night-time police operation aimed at reducing crime and anti-social behaviour at transport hubs
  • providing a "visible presence" at sites like Victoria train station, the Metrolink stop at Deansgate Castlefield, and Shudehill bus interchange

Ms Hughes said people using public transport have an "absolute right to expect that they will be safe".

"And people will not use public transport unless they feel safe and know they'll be safe."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Baroness Hughes said Metrolink passengers must have the right to feel safe

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