INCIDENTS of anti-social behaviour (ASB) across the Northumbria Police force area’s transport networks have dropped by 28 per cent in the past six months.

As part of the Safer Transport Northumbria Project, set up by Police Commissioner Kim McGuinness, officers have been rolling out extra patrols and working closely with the local councils and transport networks to tackle disorder and drive down metro and bus related ASB.

Other pleasing data shared by Kim McGuinness at this week’s ASB Board meeting in Sunderland came from the ASB Hotspot Response project, which ran during the summer months across the region’s transport networks. Increased patrols helped towards a 40% decrease in ASB incidents – from 1,123 in 2022 down to 669 in 2023. Early indications suggest incident figures are continuing to fall.

Through this successful funding bid and previous rounds of Safer Street funding Kim McGuinness’ office has invested in body worn cameras, extra CCTV, lighting reviews and more. This latest phase of work has focused on extra police patrols, targeted days of action at hot spot areas and the introduction of an ASB project lead to oversee delivery of work in this area.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “Transport has been a big area of investment for me.  I really want people to move around our region feeling safe and that’s why we have invested significant resource into this work. Since the beginning of these latest ASB transport patrols, there has been a 28 per cent decrease in ASB incidents across the transport system when compared to the same period in 2022. What we are doing is working and these numbers prove it.

“ASB is not low level – it can really have an impact on people’s lives and ensuring people can move throughout the region safely and comfortably must be taken seriously. It’s not just about policing though, we are working hard with others to strike a balance with this. As well as the policing response and encouraging reporting, there is a lot of work happening to tackle underlying causes and divert kids away from crime and onto better opportunities – that is important too.”

Kim added: “High visibility policing is certainly making a big difference, and this is a perfect illustration of what we could achieve if Government would give us the funding, we need to grow the force back up to the numbers we had pre-2010. If only they’d listen.”

Ensuring people feel safe on and around our public transport networks is a shared vision across local partners.

Chief Superintendent Barrie Joisce, Northumbria Police’s Anti-Social Behaviour lead, said: “These are fantastic figures and testament to the joined-up working between ourselves and our partner organisations.

“We recognise the negative impact anti-social behaviour can have on our communities and we are fully committed to building on the excellent work already under way to help ensure our transport networks are safe for all.

“As well as carrying out proactive activity to identify people responsible for such offences, where appropriate we want to divert those involved away from such behaviour to prevent incidents in the future.

“The overwhelming majority of people using public transport do so responsibly and are considerate of others and we would ask that they continue to work with us by reporting instances so that we can take action.”