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Catalogue of alarming crimes on Perthshire trains

Perth railway station.
Perth railway station.

A sex assault was among a lengthy catalogue of alarming crimes carried out on the Perthshire railway network.

Data from a Freedom of Information investigation has uncovered an array of criminal acts committed on the region’s trains, platforms and stations, ranging from assaults to travel fraud and even graffiti etching.

The probe revealed details of criminal incidents recorded by British Transport Police (BTP) in or near Perth over the last three years.

The statistics showed there was a total of 31 incidents last year and 12 up to August this year.

Crimes noted over the three-year period September 2013 to August this year, included charges of drunk and incapable, malicious mischief, abusive behaviour and alarmingly a sex assault on a woman carried out in May last year.

Of the 83 incidents recorded during this timescale, only 31 were reported to the Procurator Fiscal’s office in Perth for prosecution by BTP.

Liz Smith MSP said: “The number of incidents in and around Perth station or on trains travelling through the city is hugely concerning. People using our railways have the right to travel without fear of assault or harassment.

“Police Scotland will soon absorb the responsibilities of the British Transport Police and they must maintain the current level of resource tasked to deal with transport crime.

“Policing our railways requires a specific type policing with a specific skillset and Police Scotland must ensure that this is maintained, otherwise crime will undoubtedly increase on our railways in and around Perth.”

It’s anticipated the Scottish force will take over the policing of the railways once the function is devolved.

A BTP spokesperson said they are committed to keeping the travelling public “safe on Scotland’s railways.”

“The chance of becoming a victim of crime on the rail network is low and we work hard to make sure that it remains so,” she said.

The majority of the criminal incidents were recorded by BTP at or near Perth rail station but they also were involved with dealing with crimes that took place at Pitlochry, Gleneagles and Blair Atholl rail stations.

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