CRIME on the railways has dropped for the seventh consecutive year, according to British Transport Police figures.
Overall crime in the south area of the force, which covers Sussex, fell by 1.5 per cent in 2010/2011.
Motor vehicle and cycle offences fell 4.4 per cent, criminal damage was down by 16 per cent and line of route offences, which include obstructing trains and endangering safety, saw a 11 per cent reduction. Bucking the overall downward trend was theft of railway property, up by 7.1 per cent and which included 166 additional cable and metal theft offences.
The figures also included continued reductions in violence (-0.6 per cent) and robberies (-0.5 per cent) – the seventh year in a row that robberies have reduced, following on from a 38 per cent reduction in 2009/10 and a 12 per cent reduction in 2008/09.
Chief Superintendent Steve Morgan, London South Area Commander, said, “All in all, this was a challenging year and my officers and staff delivered some excellent results, with crime on the rail network in the south continuing on a downward trend for the seventh year in a row. The reduction in offences is very good news, but economics is having its effect. We know that during difficult economic times acquisitive crime is likely to increase and the figures show this.
“Cable theft continues to represent a real challenge for us, the rail industry and other utilities.
“The record price of metals on world markets has made this type of crime seem increasingly attractive, although the actual returns to the thieves are pretty modest.
“Metal theft causes significant disruption to rail services and that means real consequences for real people - missed business meetings, family celebrations and appointments, for instance.”