Transport police hail reduction in railway crime

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Crime on Britain’s railways has decreased for the eighth successive year – according to the latest statistics.

Figures released by British Transport Police revealed notifiable crime on the UK’s rail networks dropped 9.1 per cent over the past 12 months, with robberies, theft and vandalism all on the slide.

In total, violent crime dropped by 2.9 per cent, robberies were down 9.6 per cent and criminal damage fell by 21.6 per cent during 2011/12.

A major crime problem on the rail network recently has been the theft of signalling cable for its scrap value.

Theft of passengers’ property was also down 10.4 per cent with theft of railway property dropping 12.8 per cent, according to the crime statistics.

However, three of the 12 crime groups saw a rise in offences.

There were an additional 62 sexual offences across England, Wales and Scotland (up 6.5 per cent) and an eight per cent increase in motor vehicle and cycle crimes – mostly in London and the south east. The other crimes category also rose by 4.8 per cent.

Chief Constable Andy Trotter said: “This has been a very successful year for BTP and the rail industry.

“This sustained downward trend in crime is a tribute to the excellent partnerships we have with rail operators, who continue to invest in the security of their customers and staff.

“It also reflects the hard work of BTP staff across Britain at a time when we are demanding more and more from them as budgets decline.”

Crime on the railways over the past five years has fallen by over 30 per cent, according to BTP.

Michael Roberts, chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies, said: “These figures show that this hard work is paying off, but train companies are not complacent and will continue to work with British Transport Police and other industry organisations to ensure that our railways remain as safe as they possibly can be for passengers and staff.”

The figures come as Transport Secretary Justine Greening prepares to open a new CCTV hub in London that will provide access to 33,000 cameras covering the networks of 16 rail operators.