Former British Transport Police Officer on rising crime on railways: ‘What financial price do you put on the safety of Britain?’

Former British Transport Police Officer about rising crime on railways: ‘What financial price do you put on the safety of Britain?’

Saturday, October 6, 2018

A former British Transport Police Officer Norman Brennan has said that the government needed to ask itself a question: “What financial price do you put on the safety of Britain?

Mr Brennan told talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright: “The question here is, for the government and it is the government truly that takes all of our taxes is, what financial price do you put on the safety of Britain?

“If it is about saving money, you and I are going to continue having these interviews.”

This comes as there has been a sharp jump in violent and sexual offences with a 17% increase in crimes recorded on Britain’s railways, official figures show.

Some 61,159 crimes were reported by British Transport Police (BTP) in 2017/18, up from 52,235 during the previous 12 months.


‘It is down to numbers’

Sexual offences increased by 16% to 2,472 and the force believes "there are still many more crimes of this type which go unreported".

Violent crime accounts for nearly one in five of all cases after rising by 26% to 11,711.

Mr Brennan said: “It is the same old problem, it is down to numbers.

“The good thing about the transport system is that there is CCTV in nearly every train.

“There is CCTV at every railway station so that reassures victims.

“Unfortunately if you are a victim of crime unlike on the streets where there is no CCTV.

“If you have good stills, once you put the still up then there is always someone.

“Usually the cameras at the station are of a very high quality, the chances are you are going to get someone arrested.

He added: “What we have got to do is look at prevention.”


‘We have gone round in circles’

Mr Brennan said: “The sad reality is that we have gone round in circles. Since 2010 we have lost 21,805 police officers.”

He added: “All I see is politicians such as Jeremy Corbyn putting Elastoplast over gapping wounds.

“One police officer recently said ‘over a volcano’, well that volcano has erupted.”

When talkRADIO asked listeners whether they felt safe when travelling on trains, 57% said they did not. 


‘chances remain low’

BTP chief constable Paul Crowther said: "The chances of becoming a victim of crime on the rail network remains low.

"However, after a long period of steady decreases, both crimes per million passenger journeys and notifiable offences have increased."

The force said the increase in the total number of crimes is partly due to improving the way crime is recorded, which has increased accuracy and given victims and witnesses "more confidence to report crime".

Paul Plummer, chief executive of industry body the Rail Delivery Group, said: "The nature of some crimes is changing and as part of our long-term plan to change and improve, we are investing in new technology and innovations to make our railway even safer for our staff and customers."