Call to curb 'off their head' Spice beggars on Greater Manchester trams

Metrolink tram
Image caption Passengers are being harassed on board tram services, Councillor Phil Burke said

Beggars "off their heads on drugs" are bothering tram passengers in Greater Manchester, a councillor has said.

Rochdale Borough Councillor Phil Burke also condemned rough sleepers getting on trams "with dirty blankets".

The Labour politician raised his concerns after four people were stabbed in a feud between rough sleepers in Manchester.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said so-called zombie drug Spice had been peddled on board Metrolink trams.

Drug users are believed to have travelled to Chadderton in Oldham to pick up drugs, the LDRS added.

Image copyright Rochdale Borough Council
Image caption Councillor Burke wants a crackdown on trams travelling to and from Manchester city centre

Mr Burke said: "We've got major problems which no-one seems to be addressing.

"And that is with the homeless community getting on the trams with dirty blankets, taking drugs and off their heads, counting the money they're earning, and affecting our people coming from Rochdale through these areas."

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) said there had been a 6% annual drop in crime and anti-social behaviour on the Metrolink network last year.

Head of Operations Alex Cropper said Greater Manchester Police's new transport unit had had an "impact" since it launched in November.

But he acknowledged: "I know there's been a significant increase in the number of coincidental homelessness/drug arrests on the Metrolink network."

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