Surge in crime on Britain’s railways

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According to the latest figures from the British Transport Police (BTP), there has been a significant increase in the number of crimes taking place on Britain’s railways, with a sharp rise in the number of violent and sexual offices.

The BTP reported some 61,159 crimes took place in 2017-18 up from 52,235 crimes in the previous 12 months and there is a suggestion that the true figure could be even higher, with many more crimes of this type going unreported.

Violent crime accounts for nearly one in five of all cases after rising 26 per cent to 11,711 and the number of sexual offences increased 16 per cent to 2,472.

During the same period offences involving knives or other weapons went up by 46 per cent to 206, while robbery jumped by 53 per cent to 553 recorded crimes.

The BTP state that crime is lower when examined in the longer term. A decade ago, the force recorded about 30 crimes per million passenger journeys on the rail network; last year there were 19 crimes recorded per million passenger journeys.

BTP Chief Constable Paul Crowther said: “The chances of becoming a victim of crime on the rail network remains low.

“However, after a long period of steady decreases, both crimes per million passenger journeys and notifiable offences have increased.

“The increase in the total number of crimes is partly due to improving the way crime is recorded.”

The BTP also revealed figures of a number of other crimes which are increasing throughout the rail network.  The number of Arson cases has nearly doubled up 93 per cent to 143, throwing missiles at trains is up 35 per cent to 316, live cable theft is up 86 per cent to 158 and theft from vending machines is up 21 per cent to 240.

The figures also revealed that more people than ever before are trespassing on the tracks, which has accounted for 43 per cent of disruption to trains, compared with 38 per cent last year.

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