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All across the Great Western territory => The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom => Topic started by: grahame on September 05, 2019, 08:01:26 am



Title: Are our railways are getting more violent?
Post by: grahame on September 05, 2019, 08:01:26 am
from The BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-49582512)

Quote
Crime recorded on British railways increased by 12% last year including a rise in the number of violent and sexual offences, new figures show.

British Transport Police recorded 68,313 crimes in 2018/19, up from 60,867 during the previous 12 months.

Violent crime accounted for a fifth of all cases after a 17% rise to 13,591, while sexual offences rose by 8% over the same period to 2,635.

BTP said the figures show serious crime is rare across 3.3 billion journeys.

Are they really getting more violent, is it reporting that's rising because of the floor to wall encouragement to report these days, or is it rising but in proportion to passenger numbers on certain lines?  How evenly spread are the reported crimes?


Title: Re: Are our railways are getting more violent?
Post by: CyclingSid on September 06, 2019, 07:00:20 am
It does seem a bit of a mish-mash of figures, even allowing for the usual innumeracy of journalists. Normal journalist practice to use 25%, a quarter and 1 in 4 in a single article which doesn't make it always clear to the reader.

The yardstick keeps varying: one serious crime per million passengers, all crimes recorded per million journeys, and rate of thefts per 100,000 passengers. None of these are directly comparable, assuming the basis of each is sensible. Are the passengers in "Rate of thefts per 100,000 passengers" taken from the ORR figures, if so which?

When I had a quick look I couldn't find the figures which are the basis for the graph. Looking for the base figures because a rate (per 100,000 passengers) can cover some small numbers. They say figures less than ten excluded, but what if the highest figure was 50 at Paddington which would hardly be significant (apart from for the individuals concerned).


Title: Re: Are our railways are getting more violent?
Post by: broadgage on September 06, 2019, 03:14:18 pm
I have a gut feeling that violent crime on the railway is increasing, based on anecdotal reports rather than hard data.
I would suggest at least three reasons for this increase.

Firstly the railway is busier than in the past, and if other factors remain constant then one might expect that if passenger numbers increase by 50%, then that violent crime would increase similarly. The risk per person might remain similar.

Secondly violent crime is increasing in general, why would the railway be exempt ?

Thirdly, there has subjectively been an increase in gross overcrowding on trains, and major breakdowns that close London termini for a day. Whilst the majority grin and bear it, a minority take out their frustrations on railway staff or on fellow victims.

I feel that many crimes of violence result in unduly lenient sentences.


Title: Re: Are our railways are getting more violent?
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 06, 2019, 04:11:23 pm
It's a reflection of society as a whole.


Title: Re: Are our railways are getting more violent?
Post by: eightonedee on September 08, 2019, 10:20:30 pm
As someone whose commute includes two towns that were popular drinking centres during the winebar/extended drinking hours boom of the early years of this century (remember the policy of extending drinking hours to encourage a "cafe culture"?), the subsequent decline in the patronage of such establishments and alcohol consumption by the young has reduced considerably the number of rowdy inebriated passengers, and associated incidents usually troubling train crew rather than other passengers, I encounter during the mid-evening late commuter period.


Title: Re: Are our railways are getting more violent?
Post by: Noggin on September 09, 2019, 03:18:42 pm
As someone whose commute includes two towns that were popular drinking centres during the winebar/extended drinking hours boom of the early years of this century (remember the policy of extending drinking hours to encourage a "cafe culture"?), the subsequent decline in the patronage of such establishments and alcohol consumption by the young has reduced considerably the number of rowdy inebriated passengers, and associated incidents usually troubling train crew rather than other passengers, I encounter during the mid-evening late commuter period.

Indeed - I would suggest that it's quite possible to have a decline in the kind of casual, low-level violence that comes from people worse the wear getting shirty with each other and train crew, whilst at the same time having a few incidents getting really nasty, presumably because knives, bottles and other weapons got involved.

Also, it's possible that it's not the number occurring going up, but the number being reported. 20 years ago most would have taken a walkman or wallet being nicked on the chin, but when it's a 600 phone or a 1500 MacBook, insurance needs a crime number and it's a different matter. Also, assault of all kinds is worth reporting when there's CCTV and a possibility of conviction, especially given the #MeToo movement, plus more sensitive policing.

So not trying to trivialise it, but saying that you can have those statistics but to actually have less chance of being a victim of crime than you were 20 years ago. 




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