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Criminals derailed as officers return to city
TRAIN police say they have derailed criminals hitting the county’s network since moving back to Oxford last year.
British Transport Police (BTP) reopened its office at the city station in January 2011 after a 19-year absence.
And officers are now solving more than a third more crimes than they were in 2010.
In 2010 51 offences (16 per cent) resulted in a caution or charge, while in the last 12 months that figure rose to 69 offences (29 per cent).
Last night officers said that better police presence had stopped criminals in their tracks.
Recorded crime across the county’s network has fallen from 317 offences in 2010 to 238 in the last 12 months.
Pc Bob Burrowes said: “We have a massive impact on crime.
“Because our colleagues were based in Reading before it was much more time- consuming to travel up and take statements and view CCTV. The whole process took much longer so other crime became more of a priority.
“Now we have the luxury of officers here so we can treat every crime as a priority.
“If someone attends the station to steal or commit crime there is a very real prospect they will be prosecuted.”
One sergeant, two police constables and one Pcso make up the dedicated Oxfordshire team which polices the rail network between Oxford, Didcot, Bicester, Kings Sutton, near Banbury, and Charlbury.
At Oxford station, there were 85 crimes in the first six months of 2010 and 62 in the same period in 2012.
Sgt Adrian Naylor said the team was also working better with the station’s stores to cut shoplifting and catch those responsible.
He said between May 1 and July 5 there were six incidents of shoplifting but there have not been any since.
A shop worker at the Spar store at Didcot station, who did not want to be named, said the move had made a difference and there was less crime.
She said: “They respond quicker now.
“There is always a community officer coming down and checking we are all right and there are no problems.
“There used to be a group of lads that terrorised the station about a year and a half ago but that got sorted out.”
Paula Durrans, head of security for First Great Western , said: “We are delighted to have the BTP stationed at Oxford.
“We campaigned hard to have officers reinstated at the station and their return signifies how important Oxford Station is to First Great Western and the local community.
“While incidents are thankfully rare, it is clear that having officers on site presents a deterrent and has led to a more secure station environment.”
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