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Fifteen transport officers assaulted every week, updated figures show

A total of 2,402 assaults were reported against BTP officers between 2015 and 2018.

British Transport Police officers hand out leaflets to members of the public whilst on patrol at Edinburgh Waverley railway station.
British Transport Police officers hand out leaflets to members of the public whilst on patrol at Edinburgh Waverley railway station.

More than 15 police officers a week are being attacked monitoring Britain’s transport networks, far higher than first thought.

There were 2,402 reported assaults against British Transport Police (BTP) officers in the three years to October 2018, Freedom of Information requests have shown.

These included one attempted murder, 13 sexual assaults, and 235 incidents of racially or religiously aggravated harassment against officers.

The revelations come after BTP admitted an error in figures provided to the Press Association and reported last month, with more than 450 additional incidents between 2015 and 2018.

Victoria station in London (Philip Toscano/PA)

Victoria station in central London had the greatest number of assaults, with 98 incidents between 2015 and 2018.

Leeds station, in West Yorkshire, was second, with 92 , followed by Manchester Piccadilly with 88 attacks, and London Liverpool Street with 78.

A number of other stations in the capital also had high assault rates, with 73 at Stratford in east London, 62 at St Pancras, 58 at Euston.

Paddington and Waterloo stations had 49 and 47 incidents respectively.

One BTP officer who was attacked on duty told the Press Association he quickly returned to work because his absence cut his team’s manpower by a third.

Pc Adam Heslop was punched in the face when responding to a routine call in Lancaster in March 2017.

He said: “The longer I was away, the longer the cases would build up.

Leeds station (Lynne Cameron/PA)

“I’m going to have to investigate them anyway, I may as well do them now.

“It’s the first time in nine years of policing that somebody had succeeded in punching me.

“I didn’t expect it at all and I felt a bit useless.”

The force have called the figures “shocking” but said CCTV recording helps in tracking down offenders.

Superintendent Darren Malpas of the British Transport Police said: “Attacks on officers will not be tolerated and every assault is one too many.

“These figures are a shocking reflection of the risks officers face while trying to keep others safe.

“Thankfully we police a CCTV rich environment, and our police officers are equipped with body worn cameras, which mean we have a variety of evidence available to bring offenders before the courts.”



From Belfast Telegraph