Crime recorded on British railways increased 12% last year, according to British Transport Police. 68,313 crimes were recorded in 2018/19, a 12% increase from the 60,867 crimes recorded the previous year. Violent crime accounted for a fifth of all cases, showing a 16% rise to 13,591. The number of sexual offences also rose during the period, an 8% rise to 2,635.
The most common offence recorded was the theft of passenger property, responsible for over a fifth of all crime on railways.British Transport Police figures show the following crimes have also increased on the rail network, including:
– Possession of a controlled substance (up 52% to 2,305)
– Theft from person (up 36% to 7,593)
– Theft from vehicle (up 26% to 823)
– Assault on police (up 17% to 750)
The railway station with the most thefts was Barming in Kent, with 12 thefts per 100,000 passengers in 2018/19, twice as many as Cambridge North, the station with the second highest number of thefts per passenger.
Deputy chief constable Adrian Hanstock noted last year’s increase in crime was “of concern” but “anticipated” as record numbers of passengers continue to use the railway network each year. “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,” he said.
“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.”
“We now police more than 3.3 billion journeys each year, the equivalent of a third of the world’s population passing through our jurisdiction.”