TWO arrests have been made and 55 penalties issued during the course of a police operation aimed at cracking down on crime on the Metrolink.

The TravelSafe Partnership, which involves both police and Metrolink staff, carried out the operation between Bury and Whitefield tram stops on the evening of Monday October 25 and engaged with around 600 passengers.

During the course of the evening a man was arrested for immigration offences in Bury, while another was caught in Radcliffe after being wanted on an arrest warrant.

Transport for Greater Manchester interim head of operations Alex Cropper said: “TfGM takes the safety of passengers very seriously, with anti-social behaviour and fare evasion often going hand-in-hand, so we are working closely with GMP, local authorities and KAM through the TravelSafe partnership to tackle these issues together.

“We will continue to deploy TravelSafe teams across hot-spot areas as part of our programme of specialist operations in partnership with the GMP Transport Unit and district policing teams.”

The operation on Monday was part of an ongoing campaign across the transport networks and formed part of a wider response to an incident at Radcliffe Metrolink stop on Sunday 10 October in which a 15-year-old boy was attacked by youth, as well as reports of youth-related antisocial behaviour on the Bury line.

Chief Inspector Jamie Collins said: "I am keen to reassure our local communities their voices are heard, we have listened to concerns and this activity demonstrates how we are working with partners to continue to tackle ASB, and proactively target those involved.

"We will continue to have extra police officers deployed with our TFGM partners on the Metrolink line, as this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated. We acknowledge the distress it is causing, and we will continue to take robust action against those responsible."

As well as tackling crime and anti-social behaviour, the TravelSafe Partnership says that it aims to promote safe travel and engage with passengers about Covid-19 rules and guidance.

Greater Manchester Deputy Mayor Bev Hughes said: "I hope this operation has offered some reassurance to passengers that public transport in Greater Manchester is in the majority of circumstances a safe and secure way to travel.

"The visible presence of officers, practical advice, and police enforcement action where necessary should provide a confidence boost to the public and complements the vital work already underway to help keep our communities safe."