More assaults on railway - BTP data

Braintree and Witham Times: There were 1,404 assaults occasioning actual bodily harm in 2013 compared with 1,397 in 2012, figures obtained from the British Transport Police show There were 1,404 assaults occasioning actual bodily harm in 2013 compared with 1,397 in 2012, figures obtained from the British Transport Police show

Harmful assaults on the railways are on the increase, according to latest figures.

There were 1,404 assaults occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) in 2013 compared with 1,397 in 2012, the figures obtained from British Transport Police (BTP) under a Freedom of Information Act request showed.

Cases of grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent rose from 68 in 2012 to 70 in 2013, while instances of GBH without intent increased from 63 in 2012 to 85 in 2013.

Obtained by think-tank Parliament Street, the figures also showed that assaults without injury on BTP constables increased from 308 in 2012 to 392 in 2013.

Malcicious woundings were down - falling from 331 in 2012 to 279 last year, while racially or religiously aggravated assaults occasioning ABH fell from 47 in 2012 to 40 in 2013.

The number of common assualts with no injury which were racially aggravated rose from 169 in 2012 to 175 in 2013.

Parliament Street director Clare George-Hilley said: "Violent crime is a blight on Britain's rail network and must be tackled with the harshest possible penalties to ensure criminals are punished with longer, tougher sentences.

"Ensuring the safety of hardworking commuters should be a top priority for BTP and the Government should ensure officers have the necessary powers to adopt a zero tolerance approach to help deliver swift convictions for offenders."

A spokeswoman for industry organisation the Rail Delivery Group said: "The overall crime rate on the railway has fallen for nine consecutive years, but the industry continues to take the safety and security of passengers and staff very seriously.

"This is why we will continue to invest heavily in and work closely with the BTP to crack down on offenders."

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