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British Transport Police (BTP) is increasing patrols on services on the Robin Hood Line between Nottingham and Worksop on Friday and Saturday evenings.
The extra patrols, will be starting this weekend, and follow a successful operation last year which resulted in significant reductions in anti-social and drunken behaviour on board trains on the line.
BTP officers will be travelling on services to liaise with passengers and ensure no-one is breaching East Midlands Trains Code of Conduct which is in place – brought in by the train operator in April 2012. The code consists of a list of five railway byelaws that travelling passengers must abide by. These regulations are designed to discourage inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour on the route such as loitering and drinking alcohol on stations and on trains.
Officers will be ensuring the Code, which is publicised at stations and on trains is being followed and anyone who is seen breaching the code will be dealt with by officers. Regular passenger announcements are also made on services.
All passengers using the services are advised to buy tickets before boarding the train as ticket checks will be in operation by staff. Anyone without a valid ticket will not be allowed to travel. This is in compliance with the conditions of travel.
Sergeant Ian Wright said: “We are undertaking these increased patrols following reports from rail staff and passengers on these services about a small number of people acting inappropriately, and impacting on the journeys of others. This kind of behaviour can lead to more serious crimes being committed and also has a negative impact on other passengers using the route. As a result we will be increasing police patrols on Friday and Saturday evenings and will be monitoring passengers wanting to travel on the services.
“The majority of issues we are seeing on board highlight alcohol as the main causal factor. As part of East Midlands Trains Code of Conduct alcohol is not allowed on services on the route. Anyone who is seen drinking alcohol on the train will be reported for the offence and potentially removed from the service at the next station.
He added: “We do not want to ruin a night out for people, but we have to consider the safety of all rail passengers and staff and their right to use trains without fear encountering anti-social behaviour or disorder. Officers will take a robust approach to policing these services and anyone found to be acting anti-socially will be dealt with appropriately.
“Anti-social behaviour in any form has a huge impact on those who travel and work on the railway. At best, ASB can be annoying, but at its worst it can be intimidating and can be the precursor to other crimes.
“Through our day-to-day policing and the work of BTP officers in the area we are already doing a lot to tackle ASB. Last year BTP launched a non –emergency text service which provides passengers with an additional tool to report and capture low level incidents.
"Low level anti-social behaviour, which we know often occurs on trains 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,” Sgt Wright said.
“We hope that the ease of being able to send a quick text message will encourage more passengers to report incidents when they occur and I would encourage anyone travelling on these services to text the number 61016 if they do have any problems or speak to an officer on-board. By building up a more accurate picture we can better focus our resources.”
Rob Greensmith, Crime Prevention Manager for East Midlands Trains, said: "We are pleased to be working with the British Transport Police to increase patrols on the Robin Hood Line. We want to make sure that everybody has the right to travel on one of our trains without having to experience anti-social behaviour. The extra patrols, which are being introduced as a result of feedback from our passengers and staff, will help to maintain the safe and secure environment our passengers expect when travelling on our services".