Guards hired to protect passengers from thugs
Manchester Evening News: 1st November 2006
A TRAIN company has become the latest public transport operator to hire security guards to protect passengers from thugs.
Northern Rail, which runs most of Greater Manchester's commuter services, has spent £1.5m setting up mobile security teams across its network.
They will respond to incidents in cars equipped with communication and video equipment.
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The specialist equipment will also allow the security workers to remotely monitor stations and car parks while the teams are responding to an incident or patrolling the route by train.
They will work in partnership with British Transport Police, sharing intelligence and attending regular joint briefings.
Martyn Guiver, security and emergency planning manager for Northern Rail, said: "The safety of our passengers and staff is paramount.
"The security teams will patrol the network as a visible deterrent to the small minority of people committing anti-social behaviour along our routes."
It follows the introduction of private security guard patrols on buses and in bus stations in Greater Manchester earlier this month, with mobile teams ready to be called to incidents, following buses and travelling on them.
Metrolink also employs public safety officers late at night to combat anti-social behaviour.
It recently concluded a deal with Greater Manchester Police to keep its dedicated team of officers patrolling the network.
Det Insp Andrea Rainey, of British Transport Police, has worked closely with Northern on setting up the new teams. She said. "The new security teams are supported by British Transport Police as a highly-visible, reassuring presence to the travelling public on Northern routes.
"We hope their presence on trains will have a positive effect in preventing anti-social behaviour and low-level crime."
Northern Rail figures for the Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire area reveal there were 30 physical and 109 verbal assaults on staff in the year to November 2005.