OFFICERS from Greater Manchester’s TravelSafe Partnership took to Altrincham this week in an operation to tackle anti-social behaviour and crime.

The operation involved Greater Manchester Police and Transport for Greater Manchester, as well as representatives from Trafford Council and Metrolink.

All of the above were at Altrincham’s Metrolink station between 2pm and 5pm on Tuesday – a peak time for anti-social behaviour on the network as children and young people are let out of school.

Figures suggest the number of incidents involving children and young people on the network is around double what it was two years ago, although the number of incidents overall is almost the same.

Invited along for the afternoon, The Messenger observed officers checking tickets, talking to the public and even making an arrest.

Kate Green, manager of the TravelSafe Partnership, said it is important for the public to see this sort of action with their own eyes.

Ms Green said: “We do it to reassure customers.

“We realise that’s more important now than ever as we try to bring people back to public transport.”

Messenger Newspapers: Altrincham Metrolink station.Altrincham Metrolink station.

An operation such as the one in Altrincham occurs at least once a week on the network, on top of the patrols and surveillance which are occurring day-to-day.

Areas are chosen according to the prevalence of particular issues and the tactics are different depending on what these issues are.

Ms Green said: “We might bring the drug dogs or we might bring the homeless outreach teams.

“We’ve got good data to tell us what tactics we need to use in different areas.”

The TravelSafe Partnership is also reaching out to educational establishments to try to tackle anti-social behaviour both proactively and reactively.

Ms Green said: “We’ve got a proactive and a reactive arm. We’ll do all Year 6, always, because what we find with this age group is that it tends to be thoughtless behaviour, not anti-social behaviour.

“Then we go to the secondary schools, colleges and university freshers’ events.

“We’ve got a whole programme of things we do, this is just one of those things.

“People are pleased to see us and we’re trying to get better at telling people what it is we’re doing.”