Transport bosses have welcomed the use of a new ‘text alert system’ helping people to report anti-social behaviour on the Tyne and Wear Metro, with nearly 200 reports received in the first month.
Nexus recently rolled out a new system for customers to report issues across the Metro network by discreetly sending text messages from mobile phones.
Under the new system, customers can text details of anti-social behaviour they are reporting, 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, with reports helping to inform appropriate action and the deployment of security staff where required.
Nexus bosses have previously said the new technology is “faster and more effective than the current text alert system”.
Data from the first month of operation this year, between August 1-31, saw a total of 181 reports received through the new alert system.
This includes 125 reports from on-board trains and 56 reports from station platforms.
Nexus bosses have described the system as an “important new step”to improve working with police and communities to help “confront bad behaviour”.
Customer services director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “Our new text alert system is helping our security teams to target anti-social behaviour more effectively on Metro.
“The system has proved really useful since we launched it on August 1, enabling customers to contact us more easily, which then allows us to react quicker to reported issues.
“Customers wanted to see more being done about anti-social behaviour and we are acting on that.
“We are not going to fix the problem overnight, but this is an important new step which helps us work more effectively with the police and communities to confront bad behaviour.
“We will soon be rolling the text alert system out so that people can report issues at bus stations and on the Shields Ferry as well.”
Customers can report issues on the Metro system by discreetly texting ‘REPORTIT’ to 66777 followed by details of the anti-social behaviour.
In the event of an emergency people should still dial 999 and dial 101 for non-emergency situations that require the police to attend straight away.
The new reporting system supports the recent investment in a dedicated security team who patrol on the majority of trains on the Metro network.
Nexus has also previously invested in body-worn CCTV for frontline teams and improved digital CCTV cameras on Metro, as well as annual investment in a dedicated Northumbria Police Metro police unit.