A 34-year-old man from Kent has been jailed for 28 months for stealing luggage from trains at major London stations, following a British Transport Police investigation.
Gareth Colclough, from Eastbrook Place in Dover, was jailed for 21 months for the theft of nine items of luggage, with a further five taken into consideration. He was also sentenced to seven months behind bars for shoplifting and breach of sentence.
The court heard how Colclough stole nine items of luggage in less than a month – snatching suitcases and laptop bags from luggage racks on trains at King’s Cross and Paddington moments before the doors closed
Detective Constable David Graney, who led the BTP investigation, said:
Even though theft of passenger property was down by 17 per cent nationally this year, we are still persistently pursuing repeat offenders.
Colclough was a career criminal who targeted unsuspecting passengers, moments after they had placed their property in train luggage racks. He travelled up from Dover on an almost-daily basis, scouring trains for unattended bags to snatch.
Figures out today reveal crime on the regions rail network is down for the tenth year running.
Reported offences reduced 3.6 per cent but sex crimes are up 20 per cent and violence has also increased. There is also concern at the level of anti-social behaviour.
Meanwhile a reorganisation of the British Transport Police will see an extra 200 officers on trains and stations.
British Transport Police are continuing their investigation after one of their officers was assaulted at Aylesbury station on Friday 20 September.
Today the police released a CCTV image of the man they'd like to speak to in connection with the attack. PC Robert Maulini, the investigating officer, said:
"Around 9pm, the victim, a member of staff approached a man who was seen to have jumped the ticket barriers. The victim questioned the man and told him he would have to buy a valid ticket. The man then punched the victim repeatedly in the face, knocking him to the ground."
"Another man then began to verbally threaten the victim whilst he was on the floor. Both men then made off from the station."
The victim was left with minor cuts and bruises.
British Transport Police are appealing for information after a fight between two groups of people on a train at Lewes train station.
The police have released an image of the man they want to speak to in connection with the incident that happened on a Brighton to Ashford train on Saturday 31st August.
Detective Constable Nigel Craig is renewing the appeal for witnesses. He said: “After the service had pulled into Lewes station, a group of men and women on the train became involved in an altercation between another group of people who were waiting to board.
“One of the women, who was part of the group, began banging on the window close to the gap between the train and the platform.
"As a concerned member of rail staff intervened, one of the men in the group rugby tackled him to the floor, causing him to fall – with the woman – close to the platform edge. The member of rail staff was left with a graze to his knee and hand.”
British Transport Police have released CCTV images of a man they wish to speak to following a suitcase theft on a train travelling to Arundel.
The train was travelling between London Victoria and Arundel on Monday 25th November when a man who boarded at Crawley was seen removing the suitcase at 4.30.
PC Pete Cooke said: "After undertaking a wide range of enquiries to identify this man, including viewing CCTV on police intelligence systems, we are releasing them to the public in the hope that someone will recognise him."
The train was the 3.32pm London Victoria to Arundel service.
The small stolen suitcase was black with white spots and contained a sleeping bag, clothes and other items worth a total of £250.
Anyone with information should contact British Transport Police on freephone 0800 40 50 40.
A CCTV image has been released after a man inappropriately touched a woman on a Weymouth-bound train.
The incident happened between 8.35pm-8.50pm on a train travelling from London Waterloo station.
As the train left the station, a man approached the 45-year-old woman and asked to sit next to her.
He offered to share his fast food before touching her inappropriately, leaving her distressed.
The man, who was wearing a wedding ring, left the 8.35pm London Waterloo to Weymouth service at Woking station.
Det Cons Andy Parkinson said: "This was a very intimidating experience for the victim and we will do everything in our power to catch the man responsible."
Figures out today reveal a big rise in the number of thefts from passengers.
The number of thefts has gone up ten per cent and criminal damage is also on the up.
New figures from the British Transport Police show there has been a big rise in theft from rail passenger in the south. There have been more than 3,000 offences in the year 2012 - 2013 which is an increase of almost ten per cent on the previous year.
Criminal damage has also seen a big rise but overall offences are down three per cent.
Three women were attacked by two couples on a Waterloo-bound train following Ascot races.
The women used foul and abusive language towards the two couples- two men and two women.
The abuse continued on Richmond train station where the three women tried to attack the group of four before running away.
British Transport Police are continuing their investigation after receiving CCTV footage of the three women they want to speak to about the incident on Friday, June 21.
PC Neil Allison said: "This is a particularly violent and aggressive attack on two couples who had not done anything to provoke it.
"This is believed to be a very busy train service, with many of the passengers returning from a day at Ascot races. I am sure that other passengers on the train and at Richmond station may have information key to our investigation."
If you travel on the trains then it might be worth putting this text number in your mobile phone: 61016 is a new text service launched today by British Transport Police to report crime on our railways.
Anything from anti social behaviour to vandalism can be reported discreetly which it's hoped will identify problem routes and help catch offenders.
Our transport correspondent Mike Pearse reports and speaks to Dep Ch Const Paul Crowther and Sara Nelson of Passenger Focus.