Posted: Wed 6th Dec 2023

British Transport Police: Operation Genesis returns to Wales this festive season

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Dec 6th, 2023

British Transport Police and Transport for Wales are launching a joint operation over the festive period to maintain passenger safety during the busy month of December.

Throughout the month, Operation Genesis will involve extra police officers and rail staff working across the railway network in Wales to help anyone who needs it, with an emphasis on Fridays and Saturdays.  It also aims to proactively prevent crime, as well as provide reassurance and personal safety advice to the public.

The Operation will also include an increase in high-visibility police patrols on trains and at stations, in addition to plain-clothes officers to target issues, including sexual harassment, anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related disorder.

The month of December, especially the weekends, is expected to be an extremely busy time.  In addition, December 2023 has five weekends that people may choose to go out and celebrate, as opposed to four weekends last year.

BTP Superintendent for Wales, Andy Morgan, said:

“Christmas time can be a time of fun and enjoyment for many and we want all those celebrating to have a great time and feel safe, so we will be working with our partners at Transport for Wales to do all we can to ensure this is the case, across Wales.

“Experiencing crime on the rail network is rare and travelling on a train remains one of the safest ways to travel.  However, during busy periods throughout December, there are many more people out and about and, inevitably, some people consume too much alcohol.  Drinking too much alcohol does affect judgement and people often take greater risks when under the influence and behaviour can deteriorate. Poor behaviour is unacceptable and we will take a zero-tolerance position when this is the case.

“As well as having extra officers on hand across the rail network in Wales, we also want to remind passengers of our discreet text service.  Save the number ‘61016’ in your phone, in case you ever need our assistance on the railway, or you witness an incident.”

Leyton Powell, Transport for Wales Safety, Sustainability and Risk Director, added:

“It’s great to see so many people coming out to celebrate the festive season and choosing public transport to get you home is an excellent option.

“This year again we are working with our partners at British Transport Police and our security teams and we will have an enhanced presence at some of our busiest stations.

“We hope everyone enjoys themselves, but please remember to behave safely and respect other passengers and our staff at all times.”

Customer Delivery and Events Planning Manager Georgina Wills said:

“We deal with a lot of events where huge numbers are traveling into key towns and cities by train and Christmas time is no different.

“Our ultimate goal is to ensure everyone gets to where they need to be and gets home safely.

“We plan weeks and months in advance looking at the times and locations we know it’s likely to be very busy and do our best to strengthen services and put extra people out to help where possible.

“Please be aware that if you have had a bit too much to drink, frontline staff may just ask you to go and grab a water or coffee to ensure you are safe to travel.”

If you see something that doesn’t seem right, text BTP on 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.  In an emergency you should always dial 999.

Members of the public can also download the Railway Guardian app, with regards to sexual harassment only.  This free app helps you report crime to British Transport Police and provides information on what to do if you see sexual harassment on trains or at stations.

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