Metro - 998/11
Dated: 07 Jun 2011
Date of request: 14/12/2011
Date of response: 21/12/2011
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 14 December 2011 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.
As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.
I would like to submit a request under the Freedom of Information Act with regard to the presence of Northumbria Police officers at Tyne & Wear Metro stations in the region. Specifically, I would like to know how many officers per day are deployed at ticket barriers at Metro stations, and to how many stations they are deployed daily.
Also, I would like to know the brief/orders of these officers with regard to carrying out ticket inspections on passengers. Additionally, could you tell me whether any sort of 'profiling' and/or random checks of passengers' tickets are within the officers' brief/orders.
Although I shall also be submitting a FOI request to Nexus for information regarding their own ticket inspection teams, their deployment etc. I would also like to know, what - if any - collaboration there is between Northumbria Police and Nexus with regard to ticket inspections, fare dodgers, etc.
If there is any publicly known initiative or scheme I have overlooked which covers my above questions then I would be grateful if you could direct me to it. Although I would appreciate, in any response, information to cover all of my requests.
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Operations Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.
I have decided to disclose the located information to you as follows.
Metro Unit Officers occasionally support Metro Customer Service Advisors (CSA’s) in conducting “barrier checks” whereby Metro staff will check tickets of all passengers exiting from a specified metro station.
We are not present at all barrier checks (the majority are conducted without police support). However, all barrier checks are risk assessed and police provide support to those where it has been identified that there is an increased risk of abuse or violence towards staff. The risk assessment will include consideration of location of the barrier check as well as the time of day.
Below is the number of barrier checks where police have provided assistance during the last three months:-
12 barrier checks, with Metro staff, September
13 barrier checks, with Metro staff, October
14 barrier checks, with Metro staff November
8 barrier checks, with Metro staff December to date
A total 47 barrier checks in 105 days.
In the above period it was mainly one check per day, although on three occasions we attended two checks at different locations and times.
It is usual for two Officers to attend barrier checks for no more than two hours.
In addition to above, patrolling Officers may stand at or near barriers providing high visibility reassurance.
When assisting Metro staff with barrier checks, Police Officers are there mainly to provide reassurance to both passengers and staff. They are also there to assist staff when the occasional passenger becomes abusive or violent.
Outside of barrier checks, Police Officers from Northumbria Police are empowered to enforce Metro Bye-laws and this includes the right to ask passengers to produce a valid ticket for their journey.
No “profiling” takes place with regard to the Officer’s duties and requests to produce tickets or to carry out any other lawful order for that matter are made at the Officer’s discretion, which may be either routine or specific to information which the Officer has.
The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police. Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation. In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.
How to complain
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If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.