The number of violent and sexual offences has increased on Britain’s railways, according to new figures revealed by the British Transport Police (BTP).
BTP recorded 68,313 crimes in 2018/19, up from 60,867 during the previous 12 months. Violent crime accounted for a fifth of all cases, while sexual offences increased by 8% to 2,635 cases.
BTP have said that “with millions more passengers now using the railways across England, Scotland and Wales, the Force has seen an increase in recorded crime.”
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Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock, said: “Like forces throughout Britain, we have seen an increase in notifiable crime within the national network. With record levels of passengers using the railway, we anticipated there could be a subsequent rise in crime.
He added: “As stations become increasingly commercial environments, a large proportion of this increase is as a result of theft of passenger property, anti-social behaviour or shoplifting.
Despite this increase, when put into context it is important to remember that the chance of becoming a victim of crime on the railway is very low.”
He continued: “We now police more than 3.3billion journeys each year, the equivalent of a third of the world’s population passing through our jurisdiction. Of course, any rise in crime is of concern to us and we are tackling this head on through our problem-solving initiatives at key locations.”
During 2018/2019, police also saw a large increase in demand in relation to vulnerable people; both in terms of suicide prevention and supporting those experiencing mental health issues.
Over the course of the year, BTP saw a 32% increase in the number of lifesaving interventions by police and members of rail staff.