Drink-fuelled violence at train stations over festive period more than doubles in two years, new figures show

Over the past decade, 21 people have died as a result of alcohol-related incidents on station platforms

Lily Rose King
Wednesday 05 December 2018 16:38 GMT
Rail passengers reminded to look out for their friends’ safety this Christmas

Cases of violence fuelled by alcohol at train stations over the Christmas period has more than doubled in the past two years, new figures show.

There were 189 cases of drink-fuelled violence between November 24 2017 and January 2 2018, compared with 85 during the festive period two years earlier, according to British Transport Police (BTP) data.

The new figures have prompted officials to urge revellers to take extra care when travelling on the railways over the festive period.

BTP inspector Becky Warren said: “We understand that at this time of year, people are out having a good time and having a few drinks but we do see an increase in the number of incidents fuelled by alcohol.

“The ask is simple: look out for your friends and colleagues getting the train home if they’ve had a few too many.”

These incidents often involve violence directed at station staff or other passengers and can lead to injuries and arrests as a result.

Over the past decade, 21 people have died as a result of alcohol-related incidents on station platforms, or between platforms and trains, according to Rail Safety and Standards Board figures, with countless more being severely injured by slips, trips or falls.

In collaboration with charity Drinkaware, Network Rail have released the statistics with the aim of encouraging party-goers to take care of their friends and colleagues over Christmas.

The government-owned company highlights how alcohol can significantly affect judgement and as part of the campaign footage has been published showing passengers falling off platforms and walking across train tracks.

While Allan Spence, head of public and passenger safety at Network Rail, insists that travelling home by train is “absolutely the safest way,” he has warned that drunk people may fall between the train and the platform, chance it at level crossings or even hurt themselves on escalators.

Mr Spence said: “We want everyone to have fun and enjoy themselves over the festive period, but after a few drinks people often take greater risks, which can frequently lead to people getting hurt or even killed.

“Please take care of yourself and your friends, don’t let that last drink cause bad decisions. Be a first class mate and look out for those making their way home by train that may have had one too many.”

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