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Rise in sexual crimes on West Country rail network

British Transport Police say sexual offences on our rail network are up 33% Credit: ITV West Country

There has been a big rise in sexual offences on the region's rail network, according to figures out today from the British Transport Police.

There were 55 incidents last year - that's up 33%. But the force says overall crime is down for the eleventh year in a row.

It follows a campaign to target lines with the worst problems and deploy more officers at night and weekends.

Police appeal after debris left on train tracks

Debris found on railway lines Credit: British Transport Police

British Transport Police are appealing for information after several trains in South Devon have crashed into objects deliberately placed on the railway line.

Debris found on railway lines Credit: British Transport Police

In the last month, concrete lids, metal road signs and cones have been put on the line near Newton St Cyres. The incidents have led to several delays.

Some time in the early hours of Tuesday, 5 May, four concrete troughing lids were deliberately placed on the line close to Newton St Cyres station.

We believe these were deliberate acts, and again the objects were hit by trains. Fortunately nobody was hurt in any of the incidents, but clearly the actions of those who are doing this are reckless. They have endangered the safety of everyone on board the trains which struck the objects, and are risking their own safety by trespassing. We are working hard with the local community to find those responsible. I would urge anyone with information to get in contact.

– Sergeant David Mannion, British Transport Police


British Transport Police warning on railway theft

Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The British Transport Police is warning people to keep an eye on their belongings when they're travelling on trains between London and Cornwall.

Teams of officers have travelled in relay between London Paddington and Penzance on board First Great Western’s 1206hrs departure from Paddington.

They've been offering advice and safety tips as well as handing out leaflets and answering any questions or concerns passengers may have about keeping their possessions safe.

Near-miss as lorry tyre left on railway line

British Transport Police are appealing for witnesses after a high-speed train suffered damage after striking a tyre believed to have been deliberately placed on the line.

It happened last Sunday (22 December) at around 1.20pm.

A train travelling towards Penzance struck the large tyre on the tracks between Menheniot and Liskeard.

The driver of First Great Western’s 0857hrs London Paddington to Penzance service reported striking the lorry tyre which was on the line.

He brought the train to a halt and, although the train suffered some damage, he was able to continue after a delay of around 30 minutes.

This could have resulted in a much more serious incident.

Placing objects on the railway line is an extremely dangerous act and could result in serious consequences.

It is only through good fortune that no-one was harmed and it is vital that we trace whoever is responsible for this foolish act.

– DC Dave Bailey, British Transport Police

Do you recognise these men?

Police would like to speak to these three men. Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police
Police would like to speak to this man. Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police
Police would like to speak to these three men. Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

British Transport Police said there was an alleged incident at Exeter St David's Railway Station in which three men who refused to buy tickets became verbally abusive to members of staff.

Police have released CCTV images of three men they believe will have information that could assist Officers.

The alleged incident happened at about 4pm on Monday (29 July).


Train manager suffered 'abuse'

CCTV image of a woman Police would like to speak to. Credit: British Transport Police

British Transport Police say a train manager suffered abuse on a service between Truro and St Austell.

Officers have now issued the above CCTV image of a woman they would like to speak to in connection with the alleged incident, which took place onboard the 21:45hrs Penzance to London Paddington sleeper service between 10.30pm and 11pm on Friday.

  1. West Country (E)

PICTURES: Fatal level crossing crash near Taunton

The accident happened at the Athelney level crossing just before 6.30 am Credit: ITV News West Country
The car was pushed 500m down the track, killing the occupant Credit: ITV News West Country
There were around 45 people on board the train, which was travelling from Exeter to Paddington. No one on board was hurt Credit: ITV News West Country
The line between Taunton and Westbury is closed and trains have been diverted via Bristol Temple Meads Credit: ITV News West Country
  1. West Country (E)

One person killed in level crossing crash

British Transport Police have confirmed that one person has died after a train hit a car on a level crossing in Somerset. It happened near Athelney, which is on the line between Taunton and Castle Cary.

There were no reports of any passengers on the train being injured in the crash.

The car is trapped under the front of the train and services are stopped in the area. First Great Western is operating replacement buses between Taunton and Westbury.

Man wanted in connection with assault on train in Cornwall

Police would like to speak to this man in connection with an assault on a member of rail staff at Lostwithiel rail station Credit: British Transport Police

British Transport Police have released a CCTV image of a man they'd like to speak to following an assault on a member of rail staff in Cornwall. It happened on a train arriving at Lostwithiel Railway Station on the evening of Wednesday 5th December. PC Steve Campbell has issued this appeal:

“Following a ticket dispute on First Great Western’s 1916hrs Penzance - Plymouth service, a male passenger is alleged to have assaulted a member of staff on board the train.

“I am now issuing a CCTV image and appealing for anyone who can identify the man in this photograph as I believe he will have key information which can assist the investigation.

“I would also like anyone who witnessed the incident on the train to come forward.”

People with information are asked to contact British Transport Police on Freefone 0800 40 50 40, quoting incident reference B7/WWA of 03/01/2013

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