Tyne and Wear Metro workers to wear bodycams to help in the fight against anti-social behaviour

Transport workers are to wear bodycams in a bid to deter troublemakers as well as provide extra reassurance to passengers. 

Nexus, which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, has invested in 100 extra lapel-worn cameras, which were first introduced in 2018, bringing the total number in use to 150.

Every customer service advisor will have one when they are on duty across the Metro and bus network.

Nexus hopes the cameras will help in the fight against anti-social behaviour as more people start using public transport again as lockdown continues to ease.

The cameras record high-resolution footage that can be used as evidence to support police investigations.

This latest investment comes after Nexus completed £4.2m project to install 740 new CCTV cameras across the 60 stations on Metro.

Metro Operations Director, John Alexander, said safety and security was the top priority.

He said: “CCTV makes people think twice about challenging members of staff who are just doing their jobs. The footage can be passed to the police for them to use as evidence. The images are captured digitally, so it’s very high quality.

“Overall crime rates on the bus and Metro network remain low, but we remain focused on issues of anti-social behaviour and ticketless travel. The body-worn cameras provide our staff with a new tool for managing these issues."

Nexus first introduced body cameras in 2017 as part of a trial. They were then made permanent the following year, and the roll out of the technology has been ramped up to all frontline customer service workers, instead of one camera per team.

Each one  is clearly marked on uniforms to let people know that they are being filmed and staff can activate the recordings at the touch of a button.

The footage can be accessed by Northumbria Police and the British Transport Police to support prosecutions.

Nexus staff will only turn cameras on when doing so could help prevent, or document, and incident that may require a subsequent investigation. A red light will be visible on the front of the device when it is recording.