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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Cambridge North is the worst crime station in the UK

Rail passengers were more likely to witness a crime at Cambridge North station than any other in the UK last year.

A total of 96 crimes took place there in the 12 months until last December, according to British police data.

Compared to the latest passenger statistics, these are 19.6 crimes for every 100,000 people entering or leaving the station, the highest figure in the United Kingdom.

Cambridge North was far ahead of other county stations in terms of crimes per 100,000 passengers, with 4.2 crimes per 100,000 passengers in Peterborough, four in March and 3.4 in St Neots.

Peterborough saw the most crimes – 207 – but also had the most passengers.

There were 136 crimes in the main Cambridge station, which was 1.2 per 100,000 passengers, while there were 37 crimes in Huntingdon (two per 100,000 passengers) and 44 in Ely (1.9 per 100,000 passengers).

Cambridge North Station.

Across Cambridgeshire, the figures show that 612 crimes recorded by the British Transport Police (BTP) took place on or near railway stations in the 12 months until last December.

This increased by 35% over the previous year when there were 454.

The number of bicycle thefts has gone from 83 to 182 (with an increase of 119%) and the criminal damage has gone from 27 to 40 crimes (+ 48%).

The most common type of crime was bicycle theft (182 crimes), followed by other thefts (115 crimes) and sexual violence and offenses (76 crimes).

This time, last year, CambridgeshireLive reported that a design flaw in Cambridge North’s bike racks allowed criminals to lift them off the ground.

Thieves were able to target bikes with the safest locks, as they were able to take them away and remove the lock privately.

Network Rail stated in December 2018 that these were standard bicycle racks, used in stations across the country.

Bike theft was responsible for the significant number of crimes.

At national level, the number of crimes registered by BTP has increased slightly in the last year (by 1.4 percent).

The worst station after Cambridge North was Hull (8.6 crimes per 100,000 passengers), followed by Fareham, near Portsmouth, (7.5) and Ramsgate, Kent, (6.5).

Adrian Hanstock, deputy head of the deputy head of the BTP, said: “Like forces across Britain, we have witnessed an increase in notifiable crime within the national network.

“With record levels of passengers using the railroad, we anticipated that there could be a subsequent increase in crime.

“As stations become increasingly commercial environments, much of this increase is the result of passenger theft, anti-social behavior or shoplifting.

“Despite this increase, when placed in context it is important to remember that the chance of becoming a victim of a crime on the railway is very low.

Number of crimes per 100,000 passengers entering or leaving the station last year

“Of course, any increase in crime is worrying us and we are addressing this through our problem-solving efforts in key locations.”

The increase was mainly driven by an increase in thefts (up to 51%), robberies (up to 27%) and drug offenses (up to 23%).

At 719 the number of crimes involving possession of weapons decreased by 27% last year, however it was still higher than the 474 recorded in 2017.

DCC Hanstock added: “Nationally, our high profile patrols and operations have included a number of blatant and secret tactics for dealing with crime with knives. By using the knife bows and stopping them and looking for powers in a controlled way, we were able to get hold of the weapons before they were used to potentially take a life.

“Fortunately, assaults involving a weapon on the railroad are extremely rare and these decisive steps are part of our commitment to protect our railways.”

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