Crime on public transport is costing society £1.5 billion a year, government figures showed today.
Relating to public transport in England in 2006/07, the statistics showed that the total cost of crime on rail, light rail and London Underground reached £926.9 million, with bus and tram crime costing £574 million.
This is the first time that such cost-of-crime figures, from the Department for Transport, have been published.
They include all the consequences of crime, including health costs, court costs and preventative measures.
There were more than 77,000 reported and recorded incidents of crime on rail, light rail and London Underground in England in 2006/07, while the figure for bus and tram was more than 131,000.
Estimates of total numbers when unreported incidents are included raises the rail crime figure to nearly 197,000 and the bus and tram figure to more than 308,000. The estimated unreported figures exclude fare evasion.
The DfT also published research based on passengers' perception of personal safety on public transport based on studies conducted in 2008,
These showed that the public were reassured when public transport staff were visible but that the role and powers of staff were often unclear to passengers.
Some passengers said they had doubts about staff members' effectiveness in deterring crime or dealing with serious incidents.
Broken glass at bus shelters, stations with a lot of litter or bus stops with poor lighting all tended to make passengers feel insecure or uncomfortable.
Transport Minister Norman Baker is holding a round-table discussion today with representatives from passenger groups, the Home Office, British Transport Police and transport operators to discuss the research.
Mr Baker said: "I want to see more and more people using public transport and one of the key ways of encouraging this is to make sure it is a safe option.
"Passengers and staff rightly expect to travel safely and securely. Thankfully this research shows that crime on public transport is rare. However one incident is obviously one incident too many, but at its worst it can lead to reduced patronage, damaged vehicles, high staff turnover, and ultimately the withdrawal of services."
British Transport Police Deputy Chief Constable Paul Crowther said crime on the rail network had been reduced by 20% since the report was completed.
He said: ""Passengers and staff on the rail network are safer than ever, with crime against individual passengers and staff down by nearly 30% and robbery down by 65%. However we are not complacent and know that feeling safe is as important as being safe. To ensure people feel safe we are targeting anti-social behaviour across the network and have increased our late-night patrols on key routes."Reuse content