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New emergency text number for rail passengers
2:39pm Wednesday 6th March 2013 in News
HAMPSHIRE rail passengers can now text message incident details to police.
The British Transport Police has launched a new non-emergency text number nationwide.
The text short code 61016 is to give passengers another way to report incidents in real time and is designed for low level, non-emergency incidents, similar to the non-emergency 101 number used by Hampshire police.
But the BTP also hopes this service will also make passengers more inclined to report incidents like anti-social behaviour, giving them a more complete picture of the nature, number, time and location of incidents affecting travellers' journeys that would previously have gone unreported.
In total, 2,284 incidents were reported to BTP in Southampton and the surrounding area, between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2012.
The number will be monitored 24 hours a day and, while not for emergencies, a policing response can be sent if needed.
Inspector Mick Morriss, based at Southampton and who covers BTP's South West Quadrant area, said: "Low level anti-social behaviour, which we know occurs on trains often later at night and when people have been drinking, is undoubtedly under reported.
“By building up a more accurate picture we can better focus our resources.”