Latest Rail News

06.03.13

BTP launches non-emergency text number

Passengers will be able to report low-level crime to the British Transport Police with the launch of a new non-emergency text number.

The number, 61016, is designed to capture non-emergency incidents in real-time and to give officers a better understanding of the scale of anti-social behaviour going unreported.

The number will be monitored 24/7 and includes the capability to send a policing response if required.

Deputy Chief Constable Paul Crowther said: “BTP aims to be as open and responsive as possible and this is the next logical step for us. Text messaging is a quick and everyday way to communicate and we know passengers want to be able contact us this way.

“By encouraging passengers to also report incidents via text, we hope we'll get a more complete picture of the sort of low-level but all too common incidents that affect people’s journeys across the network.

“However, text messages should never be sent in an emergency situation as there are no guarantees that they send correctly or are received promptly.

“Low-level anti-social behaviour, which we know occurs on trains often later at night and when people have been drinking, is undoubtedly under-reported. Passengers tend to accept or ignore the minority who make the journeys unpleasant for everyone else.

“We hope that the ease of being able to send a quick text message will encourage more passengers to report incidents when they occur. By building up a more accurate picture we can better focus our resources.”

David Sidebottom, Passenger Focus director, said: “Passengers tell us that they generally feel safe on the railway, however, they will welcome this initiative as it will provide them with an easy way to highlight the problems they come across.”

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