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Crime is up on the railways in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire

PUBLISHED: 13:02 17 August 2017 | UPDATED: 13:02 17 August 2017

New figures reveal an increase in crime. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

New figures reveal an increase in crime. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2015

Crime is rising on the region’s railways, new figures reveal - but police say your chances of becoming a victim still remain low.

British Transport Police say some 52,235 crimes were committed across the network in 2016/17 - an increase of 7.22pc nationally.

In its eastern division - which covers Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Hertfordshire - there were 9,747 offences, an increase of 6.84pc.

The biggest increase was in so-called line of route offences, involving tresspass on the railway, which went up from 140 in 2015/16 to 207 last year - a rise of 47.86pc.

Motor or cycle offences in East Anglia rose by 19.64pc, from 2,244 to 2,156.

Robberies fell by 13.25pc, from 83 to 72,but public order offences went up from 1,299 to 1,439, an increase of 10.78pc.

BTP’s Chief Constable Paul Crowther said despite the general upward trend, crime had fallen historically and the chances of the average passenger becoming a victim remained low.

“Like most police forces in England and Wales, we recorded more crimes in 2016/17,” he said. “This was due to a number of factors, including victims and witnesses having the confidence to report crime to us, thanks in part to our discreet and convenient text 61016 service, and targeted campaigns to encourage reporting of crime.

“Despite this increase, the chance of you becoming a victim of crime on the railway remains low, with just 16 crimes for every million journeys made on our railways.

“A decade ago, we recorded more than twice this, with 35 crimes for every million passenger journeys.”

Mr Crowther said passenger numbers were increasing sharply, with 987m more journeys made in 2016/17 than 10 years ago. But recorded crime on the railways has decreased by 34pc since 2006/7.

“Coupled with increasing demand on our services, a growing rail infrastructure and the ever-present threat of terrorism, these are certainly challenging times for police forces,” he said.

“However, I am confident that BTP is in the right position to keep our railways safe for those who work and travel on them. Over the next year, we will continue to make sure we have the right people in the right place and at the right time.”

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