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BTP to combat personal theft for rail passengers

Passenger theft on the rail network rose by 16% in 2012/13, new statistics show, despite overall crime rates being down on the previous year. 

The British Transport Police (BTP) is officially launching Operation Magnum to combat theft of personal items such as mobile phones and tablets, luggage, and pick-pocketing. 

Overall crime on the railways has fallen for the ninth successive year, but personal theft has increased, particularly in London. 

BTP chief constable Andy Trotter said: “Increases in theft of passenger property, particularly those targeting smartphones and tablets, reflect the growing problem throughout London and the UK. 

“We have made great inroads into the problem of cable theft, which has been a major disruption factor on the rail network. This year cable crime was down 47%, building on a 13% reduction last year.” 

Michael Roberts, chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies, said: “It’s good news that the overall crime rate on the railway continues to fall, but the rise in some crimes will be a cause for concern for passengers which is why we will continue to work closely with the police in cracking down on offenders. 

“Train companies take the safety and security of their passengers and staff extremely seriously and spend millions of pounds on dedicated security staff, providing funding for the British Transport Police and improving CCTV. We will continue to do all we can to keep customers safe.” 

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