Lack of ticket bar­ri­ers blamed for leap in train crime

The Sunday Telegraph - - News - By Martin Evans CRIME COR­RE­SPON­DENT Ash­ley Kirk and Yo­hannes Lowe

VI­O­LENT crime on the rail net­work has soared by 75 per cent over the past five years, with ex­perts claim­ing a lack of ticket bar­ri­ers at sta­tions is con­tribut­ing u to law­less­ness on trains.

Last year there were more than 10,000 as­saults re­ported to Bri­tish Trans­port Po­lice (BTP), one for ev­ery mile of rail­way across the UK.

Se­ri­ous as­saults, in which vic­tims were in­jured, have in­creased by al­most 30 per cent since 2012-13, peak­ing at 2,400 last year.

But as­saults with­out in­jury – which in­clude in in­ci­dents such as push­ing, grab­bing and even spit­ting – have rock­eted by 95 per cent over the same pe­riod, with more than 6,700 of­fences re­ported over the pre­vi­ous 12 months.

Se­nior BTP of­fi­cers claim the rises s stem from more pas­sen­gers trav­el­ling, bet­ter de­tec­tion rates and vic­tims be­ing n more will­ing to re­port in­ci­dents.

But ex­perts also be­lieve the lack of ticket checks and bar­ri­ers at sta­tions al­lows in crim­i­nals, who are more likely to be­come in­volved in vi­o­lent dis­putes.

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