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Crime figures across Kent’s railway network down - but sex and violent offences on the rise across the region

PUBLISHED: 09:01 19 August 2015 | UPDATED: 13:37 19 August 2015

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Rail

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Mixed messages emerge from latest statistics from the British Transport Police

Figures released today show sexual and violent offences on the rise on our rail network - although the total number of crimes have fallen for the 11th consecutive year.

The statistics were released on Wednesday by the British Transport Police (BTP).

It reveals while crime overall has dropped 7.5 per cent, sex and violence-related offences both rose by 11.3 per cent.

BTP’s south sub division recorded 2,289 violent offences during the reporting period.

However, theft of properly has dropped by 15.2 per cent.

The figures cover a wide area - south London, Kent, Sussex, Berkishire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Surrey.

Superintendent Simon Taylor, who leads the policing of BTP’s south sub division, said: “The increase in these offences is clearly a concern and violence has absolutely no place on the railway. We are committed to driving violence and intimating behaviour from the railway and there has been a renewed police focus on the quality of recording and a greater willingness from victims to come forward.

“We now put more officers on late evening and night trains to reassure passengers and deter problematic behaviour and we work with train operating companies to fully utilise the CCTV systems available to us across the rail network.

“Across the rail network network, overall crime has reduced by 7.5 per cent in the past year. The figures show that, compared to the previous year, there were 420 fewer incidents of theft of passenger property on the network, as BTP continues to make the rail network a hostile environment for thieves.”

It has been helped by the likes of Operation Magnum, a public awareness campaign to advise passengers on the most common tactics used by thieves, including pickpockets.

Supt Taylor added it expected to see a rise in sexual offences after a high profile ‘Report It To Stop It’ campaign aimed at clamping down on offenders. He said it was designed to give victims the confidence to come forward and report such incidents.

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