A GROUP of Oldham youngsters were joined by the town’s mayor for a special event designed to teach them about a number of different safety topics, such as the dangers and consequences of misbehaving on public transport.

Cllr Javid Iqbal joined pupils from Holy Rosary and Broadfield Primary Schools at the Mahdlo Youth Zone for a VIP Crucial Crew event.

Held throughout June, the events will provide over 2,000 year six (aged 10 to 11) children from schools across the town with valuable life skills.

TravelSafe Partnership (TSP) officers have attended each session, providing real life scenarios and interactive discussions that enable children to learn about safety by experiencing risk in a controlled environment.

Officers have also been supported by Metrolink Customer Service Representatives (CSRs), as part of their proactive early intervention work to tackle antisocial behaviour.

The visits form part of the TSP’s programme of engagement with the community in order to help tackle and understand the issues and root causes of antisocial behaviour (ASB) on public transport.

Organised by Child Safety Media, the Crucial Crew events also feature sessions from several other agencies such as Mahdlo’s Youth Team, OASIS - from Positive Steps, GMP, BTP and St John Ambulance.

Chris Thorpe, TfGM’s Head of Control and Operational Support, said: “It is really important that every member of our community feels safe to travel on public transport without feeling intimidated or unduly concerned by the behaviour of others.

“Youth engagement events such as this play a vital role in this by ensuring that young people are made aware of how their behaviour can not only impact on others, but also themselves both short term and long term.

“Ultimately we want youngsters to view our officers as people who they can turn to for help while out and about on the transport networks.”

Lincoln Prince, a year six pupil at Holy Rosary School, said: “It was really fun to hear all the stories from the TravelSafe team and I definitely know more about keeping safe on trams and how my behaviour can make other people feel.”

The TSP uses intelligence and crime and ASB data from contributing operators to help target patrols in the necessary areas at key times.

As well as undertaking dedicated and intelligence-led operations, the TSP will continue its programme of engagement with the community to tackle and understand the issues and root causes of ASB.

Incidents of crime and ASB continue to be rare on the region’s buses and trams, when you consider approximately 250 million journeys are made on the bus and tram networks across the city region.