Violence on Welsh rail network rises


Violence on Welsh rail network rises

Violent incidents on trains in Wales are on the rise, new figures have revealed.

Welsh Government figures show that gun crime has doubled in a year from eight to 17 offences in 2012/13.

Other serious assaults have grown by a third to 79 in 2012/13.

Regional organiser for South Wales and the West with the Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT) Brendan Kelly told Wales Online that the figures "vastly underestimate" the problem because rail staff are often used to being abused and don't always report it.

He added that most incidents occur in the evening or during weekends.

Superintendent Andy Morgan, of British Transport Police, said the rise in violence was based on "relatively small figures" against an average of 28 million journeys a year.

British Transport Police yesterday announced that it has teamed up with community radio station, GTFM 107.9, based in Rhydyfelin, to highlight the consequences of alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and disorder on the rail network.

Inspector Mike Edwards, from British Transport Police, said: "More people than usual will be using trains to travel to and from the rugby internationals throughout November, with the first game in the series against South Africa on Saturday, while December is traditionally an extremely busy time with Christmas shoppers and festive partygoers.

"We understand that people want to let their hair down and, as a result, may consume a bit more alcohol than they would normally – particularly at this time of year.

"However, those that do overstep the mark can rest assured that we will not hesitate to take action in tackling anti-social behaviour and drunkenness. Anyone who is not fit to travel, either through being too drunk or by acting aggressively, will be turned away and could find themselves in front of the court.

"We will have officers out on high-visibility patrols, on trains and at stations, throughout November and December. I'm sure our officers' presence over this period will be a reassuring sight for passengers and staff."

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