Crime on Britain’s railways falls for ninth year in a row

Published: Monday, 12 August 2013

Crime on Britain’s railways has continued a long term downward trend with a two per cent fall in notifiable offences in 2012/13.

BTP officer with a member of the public

This is the ninth successive year that crime has fallen, against a background of rapidly growing passenger numbers and infrastructure.

The stats in more detail

Whilst the overall rate of crime declines, the targeting of easily saleable high-tech devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and organised pickpocketing activity, has created a rise in theft offences. To combat this, we launched Operation Magnum in June 2013, which is aimed at combating phone theft, pickpocketing and luggage theft.

  • This year cable crime was down 47%, building on a 13% reduction last year.
  • Violent crime showed a small increase in 2012/13, with an additional 201 crimes across the network — the first increase in violent crime for six years.
  • Serious assaults are down almost eight per cent, but there has been an increase of over three per cent in common assault.
  • Within the violent crime category, assaults on rail staff are down five per cent.

Download the full stats

Further breakdowns of the figures, by individual crime category, by country/region and for the London Underground/DLR are available in the Statistical Bulletin 2012/13 (PDF download).

An important year on Britain's railways

"2012/13 has been an exceptional year in our history, with the Force playing a crucial role in the success of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games," said Chief Constable Andy Trotter.

"At the same time, we have taken care of business as usual and reduced crime for the ninth year in a row. I think that is a very good performance and represents great value for money, particularly in the context of a budget reduction in real terms of 14% since 2008.

“Increases in theft of passenger property, particularly those targeting smartphones and tablets, reflect the growing problem throughout London and the UK.

“We have made great inroads into the problem of cable theft, which has been a major disruption factor on the rail network.

“Serious assaults are down almost eight per cent, but there has been an increase of over three per cent in common assault. Racially-aggravated harassment is a significant contribution to the increase in violent crime, which I think reflects a growing intolerance amongst the public of this sort of incident.”

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