Monday 16 Jun 2003
MOTOR BIKE PATROLS TO CRACK DOWN ON RAIL CRIME
- Region & Route:
Network Rail and the London South area of the British Transport Police have teamed up to launch three fast response motorcycle patrols to crack down on railway crime. The patrols will operate in South London and will help in the fight against rail trespassers and vandals.
Crime hotspots across South London will be targeted by this new initiative and will include Feltham, Croydon, Wandsworth Common, Twickenham, Mitcham, Wimbledon, Queenstown Road, Balham, Selhurst, Thornton Heath, Beckenham, Penge, Grove Park, Lee, Mottingham and Abbey Wood, some of the worst areas affected by railway crime in the South.
The motorbikes will enable the British Transport Police to provide a rapid response to rail crime incidents and it is hoped that this highly visible policing presence will help to prevent crimes being carried out in the first place. Network Rail has sponsored the scheme for three years in a deal that includes the officers’ training and special equipment.
The launch coincides with National Rail Crime Week, a campaign by Network Rail and partners of the National Route Crime Group to draw attention to railway crime.
Railway crime costs the industry some £150 million a year causing some 13,000 hours delay to trains. More than half of all reportable train accidents are caused by vandalism. Every single act of rail crime has the potential to cause serious harm or even death and can have long term effects for those involved.
A series of measures are being taken in the region to tie in with the National Railway Crime Week:
· Sport in the community events for young people in hotspot areas
· Station poster campaigns and awareness days
· Junior citizen presentations
· Leaflet drops
Superintendent Colum Price, the officer in charge of policing operations for the area said, “We are constantly looking at ways of financing policing initiatives that improve the safety of the rail network and we are extremely pleased that Network Rail has supported us. We both have a key role in promoting confidence in the rail system and finding solutions to local problems.”
Margaret Barker, Network Rail’s Route Crime Risk Manager said, “Action is being taken throughout the year to tackle the problem of railway crime, the majority of which is perpetrated by young people. By launching the new patrols with the British Transport Police we will be able to respond quickly to incidents and crack down on rail crime. We would like to ask members of the public to help us combat rail crime – either by reporting incidents to the British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or by thinking twice before they trespass on the railway and endanger their own life and the lives of others.”
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