Public Transport: Crimes of Violence

Department for Transport written question – answered on 22nd February 2018.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of assaults on (a) staff and (b) customers on public transport in each year since 2013.

Photo of Jo Johnson Jo Johnson Minister of State (Department for Education) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (Department for Transport), Minister of State (London)

Crimes on the railway are recorded by British Transport Police (BTP). The Department does not hold information on other forms of public transport.

The definition used for assaults stated in the figures below is a count of victims that fall within violence against the person group.

On the railways, assaults recorded by BTP of violence against the person amounted to:

2013/14 staff 1,640 customers 4,027

2014/15, staff 1,689 customers 4,562

2015/16 staff 1,949 customers 5,219

2016/17 staff 2,332 customers 5,973

It is important to consider this data in the context of an increase in passenger numbers on the railway, with crimes per million passengers remaining relatively low.

In addition, we believe the increase in rail-staff offences is due to more staff being put onto barrier and gate lines across the network, along with train-operating companies encouraging staff to report offences to BTP. For the increase in customer offences, we believe this is due to recent media campaigns which encourage customers to report offences and also the availability to report offences, via text services such as 61016 & through email.

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