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British Transport Police boosts patrols on night-time services in new safety of women at night strategy

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Passengers will see an increased police presence on trains and at stations at night as part of a dedicated operation aimed at keeping women safe on the railway network.

The force’s strategy is targeted at providing reassurance to women travelling at night, with highly visible and unpredictable patrols undertaking engagement and enforcement activity to combat crime or behaviour that makes women feel unsafe.

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The surge of activity began earlier this month and will run across the festive period and into the new year across England, Scotland, and Wales.

It comes as BTP continue to tackle sexual offences and sexual harassment on the railway, encouraging passengers who experience or witness this behaviour, such as touching, leering, indecent exposure, and upskirting to report it by talking to our officers or texting 61016.

BTP Assistant Chief Constable Allan Gregory said: “Everyone has the right to feel safe when travelling on the network and we are especially dedicated to making sure this is the case for women at night.

“The aim of the increased police presence on trains and at stations is to deter sexual offenders and provide reassurance to anyone travelling on night-time services.

“I urge anyone who feels unsafe or wants to report an incident to approach our officers. We are here for you. Nothing is too small or too trivial and we will always take you seriously.”

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(Lead image: British Transport Police)

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British Transport Police

Four months in prison for Llanelli man who threatened train station security staff

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A man who threatened a member of rail security staff has been jailed for four months, following a British Transport Police investigation.

Carlo Jones, 21, and of Sandy road, Llanelli, was found guilty of using threatening, abusive and insulting words and behaviour with intent to cause fear of provoking unlawful violence at Swansea Magistrates’ Court on 24 November.

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He was sentenced to two months in prison for the offence and was ordered to pay £128 in victim surcharge at Swansea Crown Court on 9 December. The sentence was increased to four months as Jones was also in breach of a suspended sentence.

The court heard how on Sunday 24 October 2021 at around 5.15pm, Jones began behaving aggressively on a train at Cardiff Central railway station. Platform staff requested assistance from security to remove Jones from the service.

Jones became irate and abusive towards the member of security staff, who came to assist with the situation. The member of staff advised Jones to come back and get a later train once he had calmed down. Jones exited the station, hurling abuse at the member of staff as he left.

The member of staff contacted BTP and officers dispersed Jones.  

At around 7.15pm, the member of security staff boarded a train, after finishing his shift. He noticed Jones was boarding the same train and decided to sit in a carriage at the opposite end of the service.

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Jones entered the same carriage as the member of staff and began to verbally abuse him, shouting in his face with his fists clenched. The threatening behaviour continued with Jones saying; “Get off at Neath and I will have you there.”

Fearing for his safety, the member of staff sought help from the train conductor and stayed in the first-class carriage away from Jones. The member of staff contacted BTP, and officers met the train at Swansea.

Jones was arrested by officers and removed from the train.

Sergeant Ben Randall-Webb said: “No one should be subject to violence or abuse on the railway – especially while they’re simply carrying out their job.

“I’m grateful to the courts for the sentence imposed and hope it serves as a reminder that this type of behaviour will absolutely not be tolerated on the railway.

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“If you experience any issues on the railway, contact BTP by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40.”

(Lead image: British Transport Police)

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British Transport Police

Neyland woman faces four weeks in jail for not paying train fare and assaulting police officer

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A woman has been jailed for a month after refusing to pay a train fare and assaulting a police officer, following a British Transport Police investigation.

Phylis Yardley, 38, and of High street, Neyland, was found guilty of assault by beating of an emergency worker, travel on railway without paying fare, and failure to surrender to police and court bail at the appointed time.

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She was sentenced to a total of four weeks in prison and ordered to pay £128 victim surcharge at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court on 19 November.

The court heard how Yardley boarded a train at Swansea railway station, heading towards London, at around 3:30am on Saturday 21 August 2021.

Yardley had purchased a ticket to Port Talbot and, on arrival at the station, was asked to leave by a member of rail staff. Yardley refused and ignored the multiple requests to either purchase a further ticket or leave the service.

The member of rail staff reported the incident to BTP and officers met the train at Cardiff Central station.

Officers explained the allegation to the Yardley and, due to the fact she had no money to purchase the correct ticket, asked that she alighted the service. Officers continued to appeal to Yardley to alight, but she repeatedly refused.

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Yardley’s behaviour escalated, and she started swearing, waving her arms and threatened to bite officers. She continued behaving aggressively as she was removed from the service, swearing in front of members of the public.

A struggle took place as the officers tried to remove her from the service, and Yardley grabbed one of the officers’ forearm and dug her fingernails into the skin, causing scratch marks.

Yardley continued to behave aggressively and, fearing assault, the officer sprayed her with captor. She was subsequently arrested and conveyed to police custody.

Yardley later failed to appear at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court on 19 October, having been released on bail in August.

Investigating officer James Thomas said: “No one should be subject to violence or abuse while carrying out their job.

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“I hope the sentence given to Yardley by the court will serve as a reminder that such behaviour will absolutely not be tolerated on the railway.”

(Lead image: British Transport Police)

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Supporters heading to Welsh international urged to ‘make a face covering part of your rugby kit’

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Rugby supporters heading into Cardiff to watch Wales’ autumn internationals are being reminded they must wear a face covering on public transport.

A capacity 74,500 crowd is expected at the Principality Stadium on Saturday for Wales’ opening game of the series against New Zealand – the first sell-out since the 2020 Six Nations.

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With many more thousands of people expected into the Welsh capital to watch the match in bars and other venues, Transport for Wales and the British Transport Police are stressing the importance of following the Welsh Government’s Covid regulations.

Leyton Powell, Safety and Sustainability Director at Transport for Wales, commented: “Our crowd management and security staff will be working closely with BTP on match day to remind rugby supporters it is still a legal requirement to wear face coverings on public transport.

“Anyone refusing to wear a face covering without a valid exemption can be refused travel or removed from services.

“We want all passengers to have a safe and enjoyable journey to and from the match and we’ve been in contact with rugby clubs to help pass on the message face coverings should be a vital part of every supporter’s kit this autumn.

“Anyone who forgets to travel with a face covering should speak to TfW staff for assistance.”

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BTP Inspector Richard Powell said: “We’re working closely with our partners throughout the tournament to help the thousands using the railway to travel to and from the events safely.

“We will have an increased presence at key locations, and officers will be reminding passengers of the requirement to wear a face covering on public transport in Wales, unless exempt.

“As with all major events, it’s very important for everyone using the railway to stay alert, be vigilant, and report anything suspicious activity to station staff, a BTP officer, or by texting 61016 with some brief details.”

There are a number of other measures in place to keep passengers safe including hand sanitiser at stations, enhanced cleaning regimes on trains and stations and queuing systems to control the flow of people into stations and onto trains.

TfW will be running a full timetable with additional capacity on our busiest trains and all available carriages will be in service, but social distancing is not going to be possible on match-day services. TfW is urging customers to take this into account when choosing to whether not to travel. 

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Anyone travelling from west or east Wales into Cardiff along the mainline is advised to use larger capacity inter-city services where possible and those travelling shorter distances are encouraged to walk, cycle or use local bus services.

Bill Kelly, Network Rail’s Route Director for Wales & Borders added: “Our teams have been working closely with Transport for Wales as we prepare to welcome thousands of rugby fans and spectators to Cardiff.

“We’d like to remind all passengers that face coverings are a legal requirement when travelling on public transport in Wales.”

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