Passenger Rail

Fewer overall train crimes, but sexual offences on the increase

Crowding Sydney Trains. Photo: Transport for NSW

Crime is reportedly falling across Sydney’s train network, with total offences at their lowest since the Police Transport Command (PTC) was established in 2012.

According to police statistics, there has been a 27 per cent reduction in malicious damage and graffiti, a 21 per cent reduction in assaults, and a 58 per cent decrease in robberies.

According to assistant commissioner Max Mitchell the lower rates of malicious damage can be attributed to the work of undercover officers that have been investigating graffiti offenders on the network.

“We have covert officers at Blacktown, Central and Parramatta to identify individuals or gangs that are responsible for high end offences like murals,” Mitchell was quoted as saying in The Daily Telegraph.

“It costs an estimated $40 million per annum in cleaning, and when we have to take the carriages out of action for repairs.”

The number of sexual offences, however, has increased by 10 per cent in the same period.

Last week Police Transport Command released images of a man who is wanted for questioning over alleged acts of indecency earlier in the year.

It is alleged that the man exposed himself to two women on a Saturday morning in April, with the first incident occurring on a train between Mortdale and Cronulla stations, while the second reportedly occurred on a train between Wynyard and Redfern stations.

“We’ve been getting the message out that we won’t be putting up with females being attacked on the transport network,” Mitchell said.

“Only 30 per cent of women will report when they have been a victim of a sexual offence – we want to send the message that anyone who is arrested committing that kind of offence will go before the courts.”

In an effort to reduce crimes and protect commuters, bail restrictions are being sought by the Police Transport Command to prevent offenders from using the transport network.

Assistant Commissioner Mitchell told The Daily Telegraph that it was important for the police to engage with responsible users of the network in attempting to bring down crime.

“[It’s] about encouraging people to get on board and report crime so we can do something about it.”

1 Comment

  1. This seems to be consistent with what’s happening in the UK – which has seen the number of sexual offences committed in trains soar to more than 100% in 5 years (up from 650 to 1,448). There are a lot of reasons why sexual assault victims may opt not to report a crime. Some of them might even think that a particular incident does not measure up to a crime. Get informed: