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Undercover police deployed to tackle transport troublemakers

Undercover police are operating on the Tyne & Wear Metro. Credit: PA Images

Undercover police have been deployed on the Tyne & Wear Metro in a bid to tackle troublemakers.

Operation Hades sees plain-clothed cops and Nexus staff board trains across the network as part of an anti-social behaviour crackdown.

This follows reports of bad behaviour in North Tyneside, including youths kicking out windows and acting in what has been described as "an anti-social manner" towards passengers and staff.

Last month a train was put out of service because 10 of its windows had been kicked out.

Sergeant Tim Hand, of Northumbria Police's Metro unit, said:

Our priority is to always to make sure passengers enjoy the Metro service in a safe and hassle-free environment.

Over the last few weeks, we have been made aware of increasing incidents of disorder on trains across the network - especially in North Tyneside between Benton and Howdon.

This type of behaviour is totally unacceptable and we will take robust action against anybody who brings misery to their fellow passengers or staff.

Operation Hades will see officers and Nexus staff in plain clothes boarding trains across the network so our message to offenders is clear - misbehave at your peril, as you may be surprised who else is sat in the same carriage.

– Sgt Tim Hand, Northumbria Police

The operation will run over a number of weeks and see undercover cops and Nexus staff targeting troublemakers both during the day and at night.

A Nexus spokesman said:

We're working closely with the police to crackdown on anti-social behaviour on the Tyne and Wear Metro - and this now extends to joint patrols with our staff and police officers in plain clothes.

Recent incidents of criminal damage where train windows have been kicked out are totally unacceptable and we are determined to find those responsible.

Overall crime on Metro remains low but there is a small minority who seem determined to spoil it for law abiding passengers who use the service to travel around.

Anyone who gets caught damaging our trains will face prosecution through the courts and a possible ban from the Metro system.

Nexus spends almost £500,000 a year cleaning up behind vandals who show no regard for the inconvenience they cause other people - or the cost to the taxpayer. We are determined to take a tough line on confronting this problem.

– Nexus

Anyone who sees disorder is asked to call police on 101. In an emergency, ring 999.