Posted 5th October 2018 | 1 Comment

Railway crimes rise by 17 per cent

THE number of criminal offences on railways in Britain has risen by 17 per cent, according to new figures from British Transport Police.

The total includes sex offences. BTP said part of the rise could be attributable to the greater ability of victims to complain, but the RMT claimed that the system was becoming a ‘criminals’ paradise’.

The new figures have been included in BTP’s annual report, which was published today. It is now easier than before to report an incident, following campaigns like BTP’s ’Report It To Stop It’ campaign, while ’We Stand Together’ is aimed at encouraging reports of hate crime.

BTP pointed out that ‘the chance of a passenger of becoming a victim of crime on the railway remains extremely low, with only 19 crimes recorded for every million journeys in 2017/18’. This figure compares with 30 crimes for each million journeys made 10 years ago.

BTP recorded 61,159 crimes during the year, compared with 52,235 in 2016/17, an increase of around 17 per cent.

Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock said: ‘The last year has been a very challenging one for our officers, who responded to multiple terrorist attacks as well as intervening almost 2,000 times with vulnerable people on the network. Despite these challenges, it is reassuring to see that the chance of becoming a victim of crime the railway network remains incredibly low.

‘In the past ten years, we have seen a significant rise in the number of passenger journeys. With more people than ever travelling on the network, we fully expected to see a subsequent rise in crime in some areas.’

More than 3,300 offences were reported via text messages last year, but DCC Hanstock conceded that ‘in the past year, we have seen an increase in the number of violence offences. Any increase in this area is concerning and we have already put in measures to tackle violence head on. It is worth bearing in mind that less than one journey in a million involves an incident of any kind of violence.

‘We know the impact violence has on victims and that is why we are committed to clamping down on these offences.’

The RMT condemned the figures, and claimed that they were evidence of fewer staff being employed on trains and stations.

General secretary Mick Cash said: ‘These shocking figures show that is nothing short of criminal negligence on the part of those rail companies that have axed guards and de-staffed stations‎ in the drive for profits. RMT has warned that they would be turning our railways into a criminals' paradise and they have ignored us. Those private rail companies should be hanging their heads in shame.’

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Neil Palmer, Waterloo

    "The RMT condemned the figures, and claimed that they were evidence of fewer staff being employed on trains and stations."

    More like evidence of the RMT's inability to comprehend statistics.

    Maybe this is the reason the RMT are so difficult to negotiate with. They can't figure out simple math, like how 19 crimes recorded for every million journeys in 2017/18 is an improvement on 30 crimes for each million journeys made 10 years ago.

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