726 crimes on ‘very safe’ South Yorkshire rail network

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HUNDREDS of crimes - from bomb hoaxes and sexual offences to attempted murder - were committed on South Yorkshire railways last year, The Star can reveal.

Figures revealed as part of The Star’s Your Right to Know campaign show 726 offences were recorded at stations or services in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster between April 2011 to April this year.

The offences include everything from cannabis possession to thefts from buffet trolleys - and British Transport Police bosses insist crime figures are at a five year low, and that it is ‘very safe’ to travel by train.

Crimes in the last year ranged from assault - including of police officers - to forgery, possession of an offensive weapon, outraging public decency, sexual assaults, and theft of luggage and of bikes.

Insp Andy Selby, of British Transport Police, said: “These small figures, against a backdrop of millions of passengers using the stations in South Yorkshire each year, show the region’s rail stations are very safe.

“The chances of becoming a victim of crime are very low - but we’re not complacent. 

“Passengers and rail staff rightly expect a safe and secure rail network and we’ll continue working hard to carry on delivering a safer travelling environment for all.” The figures for last year show a drop in crime - with 781 offences recorded in 2010/11 and 839 the year before.

Sheffield’s branch of British Transport Police, which has nine officers and plus support from additional units and volunteers, said it was working closely with police, Network Rail and train operators to tackle crime. Night patrols are being stepped up to help people feel more safe.

Anybody who witnesses crime or anti-social behaviour on the rail network should call British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40. In emergencies call 999.