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.”
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.