Route crime is a phrase used by the British rail industry to denote trespass and vandalism. It is believed to be the cause of most deaths to members of the public on the railways in Britain. Most Route Crime-related deaths are suicides with the rest being trespass-related.
Criminal damage and trespass on the railways
Acts which can be classified as route crime include:
- People putting obstructions in front of trains
- Trespassing and vandalising the railway infrastructure, including trains
The Railway Industry in the UK has a strategy based on 4 Es:
- Enabling – having the organisation, finance and planning in place to make it happen[who?]
- Education - of children, opinion formers and the industry itself
- Engineering - solutions looking at crime prevention, boundaries, surveillance and more
- Enforcement - led by BTP, but enlisting support from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), judiciary and local forces, and the use of Crimestoppers.
British Transport Police delivers this through:
- Education, Full-time Community Safety Officers work with rail drivers to take the safety message to young people
- Prevention, Specialist Crime Prevention Officers advise the railways on how to design out crime from stations and other facilities
- Deterrence, Targeting problem areas through crime pattern analysis, increasing uniformed patrols at vulnerable times and places
- Detection, Covert surveillance to catch offenders, again using crime pattern analysis so as not to waste valuable police time. Q Trains are also used successfully by some BTP Areas.
- Community, Various schemes are run in different localities, e.g. adopt-a-station
- Involvement, station watch, trackside revival schemes
British Transport Police launched this nationwide operation on the 20 December 2006 to target graffiti vandals. On the first day BTP made 23 arrests. Traditionally vandalism has increased on the railways over the Christmas period.
- British Transport Police
- British Transport Police Special Constabulary website
- Track Off
- BBC Crimefighters: British Transport Police
- Damage to Property The Crown Prosecution Service website
- Non profit graffiti site concentrated on the train scene of Europe
- Community Safety Resource Centre
- Office of Rail Regulation (accessed 21/12/06 Archived 26 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- British Transport Police, Route Crime (accessed 21/12/06) Archived 30 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- Glasgow Evening Times (accessed 21/12/06) Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- END OF LINE FOR GRAFFITI YOBS, South Tyneside Today (accessed 21/12/06)[dead link]
- Graffiti vandals targeted in festive clampdown, Wigan Today (accessed 21/12/06)