Reported crime on the rail network rose by 12% during the last year.
Figures released by British Transport Police (BTP) show that there were 68,313 notifiable crimes in 2018/19 compared to 60,867 in 2017/18.
Violent crime rose by more than 16% while sexual offences rose by nearly 8%. Theft of passenger property rose by more thank a fifth (20%)
Deputy chief constable Adrian Hanstock, said: ‘Like forces throughout Britain, we have seen an increase in notifiable crime within the national network. With record levels of passengers using the railway, we anticipated there could be a subsequent rise in crime. As stations become increasingly commercial environments, a large proportion of this increase is as a result of theft of passenger property, anti-social behaviour or shoplifting.
'Despite this increase, when put into context it is important to remember that the chance of becoming a victim of crime on the railway is very low. We now police more than 3.3billion journeys each year, the equivalent of a third of the world’s population passing through our jurisdiction. Of course, any rise in crime is of concern to us and we are tackling this head on through our problem-solving initiatives at key locations.'
BTP said that during the year it saw a large increase in demand in relation to vulnerable people; both in terms of suicide prevention and supporting those experiencing mental health issues.
Over the course of the year, it saw a 32% increase in the number of lifesaving interventions by police and members of rail staff.
It added that since the start of 2019, a concentrated effort has been put into place to tackle violent behaviour and that last year half of all recorded knife crime on the railway was as a result of proactive action by officers, where officers seized weapons and other prohibited items.