Crime down 18% in December: Success for British Transport Police and Transport for Wales joint operation
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Throughout December 2022, British Transport Police (BTP) and Transport for Wales (TfW) ran a joint operation, called Operation Genesis, to keep those on the rail network safe during the busy festive period, which resulted in a drop of almost 18% in overall crime on the rail network.
Operation Genesis involved extra police officers, in uniform and plain clothes, and TfW rail staff working across the network throughout Wales to help and assist the public, with an emphasis on Fridays and Saturdays. It also proactively prevented crime, as well as providing reassurance and personal safety advice.
With a potential of five busy weekends throughout December, as opposed to four weekends for the last few years, BTP and TfW worked very closely in the run up to December to ensure the right number of officers and staff were positioned across the rail network at the right time and the right place. December 2022 was also the first festive period for two years without any Covid-related restrictions.
Some of the key results from Operation Genesis include an overall reduction of 17.8% in crime (compared to December 2021), including:
5% reduction in rail staff assaults.
5% reduction in violent offences.
3% reduction in sexual offences.
3% reduction in public order offences.
28 arrests were made, for various reasons, such as drunk and disorderly, theft, sexual offences, assault, possession of illegal substances, trespass, homophobic abuse, and other offences.
109 station ejections took place.
100 Stop and Account instances took place (Stop and Account is when a police officer stops a member of the public and ask them to voluntarily account for their behaviour or actions, or ask the person what they are carrying, where they are going, what they are doing in the area, or any other questions about their conduct).
155 hours of additional visibility during this period.
Speaking about Operation Genesis, BTP Superintendent for Wales, Andy Morgan, said: "The safety and wellbeing of passengers and rail staff is always our number one priority, which is why we joined with Transport for Wales in rolling out Operation Genesis. This was the busiest month of the year, and the first festive period, in several years, without any travel restrictions due to the pandemic.
"I am extremely pleased to see and overall reduction in crime by almost 18% and am also pleased to see a large reduction in sexual and violent-related offences. This stands us in a good position to take some of the positive learnings into 2023. I would like to thank Transport for Wales for their help assistance and hard work during Operation Genesis and I would also like to thank members of the public for their help and vigilance over this period."
Leyton Powell, Transport for Wales’ Safety, Sustainability and Risk Director, added: "We’re very grateful for the work of the British Transport Police in helping keep the Wales and Borders rail network safe as part of Operation Genesis, and the vast majority of rail passengers for their co-operation over the festive period.
"Overall 614 people were refused travel on our services for disorderly conduct during December. There was a 62.5% reduction in assaults on TfW staff compared to December 2021, demonstrating the progress we have made working together to ensure the safety of our rail industry colleagues. We were also able to safeguard vulnerable passengers through partnership working with the police and ambulance services at designated “safe spaces”.
"Our frontline and security colleagues are proud to have worked alongside BTP to deliver successful operations. We’re looking forward to building on this in 2023 and will continue to work collaboratively in 2023 in order to ensure passengers continue to travel safely."
Members of the public are reminded to use the text number 61016 if they want to report a crime on the rail network or telephone 999 in an emergency. BTP has also launched a new Railway Guardian app. The free app is an all-in-one safety app that allows you to report crimes or concerns on the rail network, share your journeys with trusted contacts, and get access to news, guides, or support.