Thursday, September 22, 2022

The increase in violent attacks on Scottish train passengers is a concern for police

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A rise in violent attacks on Scottish train passengers has sparked concern among one of the most senior British Transport Police (BTP) officers.

Police recorded a 17 percent year-on-year increase in violent crime between April and June, along with a “significant” increase in public order incidents.

Deputy Police Commissioner Alistair Sutherland said: “We have seen an increase in the number of violent crimes against passengers during this first quarter [of 2022/23].

“Of course that’s important to us.”

The total number of such crimes rose to 103, while fewer were solved.

The clearance rate was 41 percent – 22 percentage points lower than in 2021.

BTP has linked the surge to busier post-Covid trains and more people going out at night, with alcohol “often a key triggering factor, with major hubs being hit hardest”.

Mr Sutherland also told a meeting of the Scottish Railways Policing Committee: “In terms of public order offenses against passengers there has also been a significant increase there.”

These rose 27 percent to 370, with a resolved rate of 26 percent – 15 points down from a year ago.

However, Mr Sutherland said there was “better news” on crime against railway staff.

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