Rail passengers asked to text

journal and gazette web graphic
journal and gazette web graphic

For the first time, rail passengers can report incidents via text to the British Transport Police.

A new national non-emergency text number by British Transport Police (BTP) – 61016 – gives passengers an additional tool to report incidents in real time wherever there is a mobile phone signal.

The number is designed to capture low level, non-emergency incidents, similar to the non-emergency 101 phone number being used by local forces.

By introducing a text capability, BTP hopes passengers will be more likely to report incidents, such as anti-social behaviour, giving police a better understanding of the nature, number, time and location of incidents which would previously have gone unreported.

Chief Superintendent Ellie Bird, area commander for the Scotland area of BTP, said: “This is the next logical step for us. BTP aims to be as open and responsive as possible and text messaging is a quick, easy and everyday way to communicate and passengers have said they want to be able contact us this way.’’

Text messages, however, should never be sent in an emergency situation, as there are no guarantees that they send correctly or are received promptly.