Route crime

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Route crime[1] 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[edit]

Acts which can be classified as route crime include:

  • People putting obstructions in front of trains
  • Trespassing and vandalising the railway infrastructure, including trains

To tackle route crime, British Transport Police works in partnership with Network Rail, Train Operating Companies (TOCs), rail staff and the public.

Railway strategy[edit]

The Railway Industry in the UK has a strategy based on 4 Es:[2]

  • 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.

Police action[edit]

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

Operation Silverback[edit]

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.[3][4][5]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]