BTP uses funding to increase patrols across SWR services
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British Transport Police has increased its patrols across South Western Railway services to combat anti-social behaviour and violent offences.
The new initiative, called Operation Toyota and funded by SWR, includes more officers travelling the network from London Waterloo to Southampton Central and beyond into Dorset.
It began in January 2022 and targets all hotspot locations including Southampton Central and Woking, with officers paying close attention to incidents where SWR staff are victims.
During one operation at Waterloo on Thursday 17 February, officers made an arrest for possessing an offensive weapon, three men were arrested for possessing cannabis, one was arrested for common assault, another arrested for drunk and disorderly, and three missing people were found and safeguarded.
Similar operations have taken place since the initiative began and join the daily patrols officers conduct across SWR services.
A key point of Operation Toyota is to target areas where members of railway staff have been victims to verbal or physical abuse.
Tom Robins, senior security and route crime manager at SWR said: “Operation Toyota has successfully provided reassurance and high visibility presence to our passengers and staff.
“The proactive operation at hotspot locations has significantly driven down crimes against our passengers, staff and infrastructure.
“Operation Toyota fulfilled its brief and more, we are extremely grateful for the support BTP has provided in making our railway a safe and secure place for all.”
BTP Chief Inspector Paul Donovan said: “The safety of SWR staff and the passengers they assist is our top priority.
“This increased funding has ensured we can get more officers out on the frontline and to more areas, tackling incidents as we patrol and providing a reassuring presence to those using the railway.”