“Senseless crimes that could have been avoided” – Northern encourages customers to download ‘Railway Guardian’ app and report suspicious behaviour without hesitation

Some of the worst crimes that have taken place on Northern services in the past year could have been avoided if people had reported suspicious behaviour, the train operator’s chief operating officer, Tricia Williams, has said.

Her comments come as British Transport Police relaunch their ‘Railway Guardian’ app, an all-in-one safety app that allows users to report crimes or concerns on the rail network, share journeys with trusted contacts and get access to news, guides and support.

Last year, Northern revealed its trains had been the target of almost 70 dangerous attacks – with carriages struck by 42 bricks, stones and rocks thrown from bridges and railway embankments as well as colliding with 27 ‘substantial items’ including shopping trollies, pushchairs and bikes that were deliberately placed on the track.

One driver was left with shocking injuries when his cab windscreen was hit by a brick whilst travelling at 70mph; and just last month Northern offered a £1,000 reward when its trains were targeted by a suspected air gun pellet attacker.

“Whilst they are extremely rare, we’ve seen some horrendous incidents on the railway these past 12 months” said Tricia Williams.

“With so many of them, the old maxim ‘someone must know something’ is what we need to focus on. These are senseless crimes that could have been avoided.

“We need to look out for one another and the ‘Railway Guardian’ app helps get information about threats to the railway – or rail users – to the right people quickly and simply.”

British Transport Police’s ‘Railway Guardian’ app is available to download from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Anyone with information about any crime on the railway can contact British Transport Police by texting 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40. Alternatively, people can call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Northern is the second largest train operator in the UK, with 2,500 services a day to more than 500 stations across the North of England.


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