Crime on West Midlands’ public transport network has fallen 70% in the last eight years, according to the regions transport authority, Centro. The total number of offences recorded on bus and rail services across the region from April 1 last year to March 31 this year fell 6% to 5,822, down from 6,199 for the same period the previous year. Excluding trespass this equates to one offence every 76,719 journeys across all modes of transport. On the bus network the total number of recorded crimes was 2,755, a 6% fall from 2,930 the previous year. The figures have been released by the Safer Travel Partnership, a collaboration between West Midlands Police, British Transport Police, travel operators and Centro.
Inspector Lee Gordon, of the Partnership’s policing unit, was particularly pleased that reporting of sexual offences had risen, a figure that was attributed to Project Empower. This was launched in March 2015 to encourage people to report unwanted sexual behaviour, particularly low level offences which victims may previously have thought not serious enough to be worth telling police. Lee Gordon said, ‘Empower has resulted in a number of successful prosecutions against people who thought they could get away with conduct that is totally unacceptable. It has enabled us to send out a very strong signal to victims that we are listening and we will take action, which in turn has encouraged them to come forward.’