A passenger safety scheme carried out by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), Greater Manchester Police (GMP), Stagecoach Manchester, First Manchester and the Metrolink operator MRDL has won national praise.
The Greater Manchester Travel Safe Scheme (GMTSS) was presented with a “highly commendable” certificate as part of the Home Office’s Lord Ferrers Awards.
The GMTSS, which started in 2009, has resulted in regular policing patrols on Greater Manchester buses and trams and at stations including surveillance operations.
The certificate was given to GMTSS members at the House of Commons by Chief Constable David Whatton, of Cheshire Police, after the group was nominated in the ‘Employer Supported Policing’ category.
The Lord Ferrers Awards is an annual awards ceremony, named after the late Home Office minister, which recognises the role of policing volunteers in the line of duty.
Twelve police volunteers – known as ‘special constables’ – make up the GMTSS which is led and organised by Phil Harrison, TfGM Crime Reduction Partnership Co-ordinator, and GMP Constable Stuart Graham.
Phil said: “GMTSS is public sector partnership working at its best and the special constables involved are really the cream of the crop.
“We just missed out on scooping the Employer Supported Policing, which recognises successful multi-agency partnerships with special constables, so this was a nice consolation prize.
“It was a very proud day for all of us who attended the House of Commons ceremony to see the scheme and volunteers presented with this commendation.”
The work of the GMTSS has resulted in the confiscation of drugs, weapons and other harmful contraband leading, in some circumstances, to ASBOs and criminal prosecutions.
Chief Superintendent Nick Adderley, GMP Strategic Lead for the Special Constabulary said: “Our Special Constables make a very valuable contribution to our communities every single day and this is another great example of the work that they do to keep people safe.
“Working alongside partners, Specials have given up their free time to successfully reduce crime and disorder on the transport system and I’m thrilled that their efforts have been recognised with this award.”
Michael Renshaw, TfGM’s Bus and Rail Director, added: “Everyone involved in the GMTSS has done a superb job over the past four years.
“They are committed to tackling crime and anti-social behaviour on our public transport network and this commendation recognises the importance of their work.”