Operation Genesis Returns to Wales’ Railway this Christmas
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British Transport Police (BTP) and Transport for Wales (TfW) are launching a joint operation over the Christmas period to maintain passenger safety during the busy festive season.
Throughout December, Operation Genesis will involve extra police officers and rail staff working across the network in Wales to help anyone who needs it, with an emphasis on Fridays and Saturdays. It also aims to proactively prevent crime, as well as provide reassurance and personal safety advice to the public.
The Operation will also include an increase in high-visibility police patrols on trains and at stations, in addition to plain-clothes officers to target issues, including sexual harassment, anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related disorder.
The month of December, especially the weekends, is expected to be an extremely busy time, partly down to the fact it will be the first Christmas period not to have any Covid-related rules in place since 2019. In addition, December 2022 has four weekends that people may choose to go out and celebrate, as opposed to three weekends in December 2021 (due to Christmas Day being on a Saturday).
BTP Superintendent for Wales, Andy Morgan, said: "Christmas time can be a time of fun and enjoyment for many and we want all those celebrating and trying to enjoy social time with family and friends to be and feel safe, so we will be working with our partners at Transport for Wales to do all we can to ensure this is the case, across Wales and the Borders.
"Experiencing crime on the rail network is rare and travelling on a train remains one of the safest ways to travel. However, during busy periods throughout December, there are many more people out and about and, inevitably, some people consume too much alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol does affect judgement and people often take greater risks when under the influence and behaviour can deteriorate. This can also lead to those under the influence not listening to critical safety advice, which can lead to tragic consequences. Poor behaviour also affects many other passengers and of course rail staff. This is unacceptable and we will take a zero-tolerance position when such intoxication or poor behaviour is evident.
"As well as having extra officers on hand across the rail network in Wales, we also want to remind passengers of our discreet text service. Save the number ‘61016’ in your phone, in case you ever need our assistance on the railway, or you witness such unacceptable behaviour."
Leyton Powell, Transport for Wales’ Safety, Sustainability and Risk Director, added: "The Wales and Borders network is one of the safest in the UK, thanks to the hard work of Transport for Wales and British Transport Police staff and the responsible behaviour of the vast majority of our passengers.
"In collaboration with BTP, this year we are taking extra measures to ensure our services remain safe during what is likely to be a busy festive period. We want to reassure our customers that additional police and security on trains and stations, especially on weekends, are there to help keep everyone using our network safe. We ask all our customers to please respect our staff and ensure you are in a safe condition to travel".
If you see something that doesn’t seem right, text BTP on 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency you should always dial 999.
Members of the public can also download the Railway Guardian app, with regards to sexual harassment only. This free app helps you report crime to British Transport Police and provides information on what to do if you see sexual harassment on trains or at stations.