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Bus and rail crime on the rise again in the West Midlands

Crime | Published:

Crime on public transport has risen again, new figures have revealed.

Train passengers have seen an increase in crime on journeys.

The number of incidents on buses, the rail network and the metro have all increased.

Between April and November last year, reports of crime on the railway rose by 16 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year, with incidents on buses rising by four per cent overall.

This equates to an increase of approximately 251 offences on the rail network and 78 on buses.

The metro also saw an increase in the number of incidents, with an extra 36 recorded compared to the same period the previous year.

While the number of cycle thefts rose by a huge 151 offences.

The figures were revealed in papers from the West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) Transport Delivery Committee, which met earlier this week.

This is despite the establishment of the Safer Travel Plan by the Safer Travel Partnership toward the end of 2016.

The partnership consists of the West Midlands Police, British Transport Police and Transport for West Midlands.

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Vulnerable

On its website, the Safer Travel Partnerships states that it is “committed to creating a safer transport network in the West Midlands, working to identify areas of the network vulnerable to crime, anti-social and nuisance behaviour”.

Speaking at the meeting, officers for the WMCA were keen that the rise in public transport crime should be put into the context of a 10.1 per cent rise in overall crime across the region, adding that the amount of criminal damage committed across the network had fallen.

Councillor Diana Holl-Allen, who is the lead member for Safe and Sustainable Travel, was one who voiced her concern during the meeting, noting that a rise in crime was never a good thing.

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But she also sought to reassure the public that measures were being taken to bring the number of crimes on the network down an she also said that people shouldn’t feel that it is unsafe to travel on public transport in the West Midlands.

“Nationally things are far worse than here.

“I think generally speaking we will keep our fingers crossed that it comes down next time, but it still isn’t good, and the general public should know that we are concerned and we are always trying to combat these kinds of incidents on public transport.”

The latest figures come off the back of a report, published in May of last year.

Crime on public transport during the 2017/18 period increased by 12 per cent on 2016/17.

By Tom Dare

Local Democracy Reporter

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