Page last updated at 05:43 GMT, Wednesday, 28 May 2008 06:43 UK

Railways 'safer' as crime drops

Train
Arriva had threatened to withdraw some services last year

Crime has fallen on railways in Wales, figures from British Transport Police (BTP) have revealed.

Statistics show there was a drop of 8.6% in 2007 to 2008 compared with the previous year, which translates as 163 fewer victims of crime.

There have been reductions in almost all categories, including violent crime and criminal damage.

Area commander Chief Supt Peter McHugh said it showed that railways were becoming safer places.

He said there had been a decrease in incidents and an increase in detection.

"More offenders are being brought to justice," he said.

"We are pleased with the achievements, which further demonstrates the railways are safer for passengers."

Mr McHugh attributed the drop in crime to partnerships with local communities.

Police offices on a train station platform
High on our agenda continues to be reassuring passengers and rail staff by tackling anti-social behaviour and low level disorder that contribute to the fear of crime
Chief Supt Peter McHugh
"We are really pleased with the impact the Neighbourhood Police Teams (NPTs) have made over the last 12 months, which has provided us with a platform to strengthen our NPTs in the near future," he said.

"The key aim of NPT is listening to members of the local community and working with them to develop tailor-made solutions for their local policing needs.

"High on our agenda continues to be reassuring passengers and rail staff by tackling anti-social behaviour and low level disorder that contribute to the fear of crime."

Metal object

In the first three months of 2007, crime and disorder incidents on the Welsh rail network were nearly double that of the same period in 2006, a BBC investigation found.

At the time, Arriva Trains Wales threatened to withdraw services to certain areas after a train was stopped in Ystrad Rhondda by a large gang of youths, leaving passengers stranded for an hour.

In January this year, passengers had to be evacuated from a train near Llanbradach, Caerphilly, after it collided with a large metal object left on the line.

Detectives described it as a "significant attempt" to derail the train.

However after the release of the new figures, Arriva's security manager Gwilym Bowen said it was encouraging to see improved crime statistics.

"This demonstrates that partnership working with BTP, local police, Arriva Trains Wales and local community agencies can help identify the root cause of the problems which in turn can impact on reducing rail crime," he said.

"There is still a lot of work to be done, but we hope this trend continues."


SEE ALSO
Vandals attempt to derail train
05 Jan 08 |  South East Wales
'Steep rise' in crime on railway
14 May 07 |  South East Wales
Police to target transport hubs
03 Oct 06 |  London

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