Crime and anti-social behaviour is on the rise at Southampton's busiest railway station, new British Transport Police data has revealed.

Figures show that people travelling through Southampton Central reported more crime and unruly behaviour in the year to May compared to the previous 12 months.

The councillor responsible for safety in the city has said incidents should be reported to police so they can take 'swift action'.

The figures

Police at St Denys Station in 2021Police at St Denys Station in 2021 (Image: Newsquest)

Reports of crime and anti-social behaviour offences increased at Southampton Central, with 159 issues reported in 2023-2024, compared to 124 in 2022-2023 - a 28 per cent increase.

Around 3.17m passengers pass through the station in a year.

The figures show public order offences are on the rise with 45 per 100,000 passengers against 17 per 100,000 the previous year.

Sarah Bogle, councillor for the Bargate ward, said: "It's very disappointing to hear that reports of crime and anti social behaviour have worsened at Southampton central station.

"The data needs careful analysis to understand what is driving this change."

Southampton Airport Parkway saw a reduction in crime, with 39 offences down from 55.

One of the most prolific crimes committed at this station was bicycle thefts.

But the rate of these thefts per 100,000 passengers has decreased from 3.3 to 2.2.

At St Denys station, reported crime rose from five to nine in 2023-2024. 

Which stations have improved?

Crime has reduced at several stations. In 2022-2023, 19 crimes were reported at Woolston, but this has dropped to nine.

Sholing saw one crime each year. No crime has been reported at Bursledon station.

‘Public safety is a top priority’

Cllr Christie Lambert, cabinet member for Safer City at Southampton City Council, said crime trends are ‘actively monitored’.

READ MORE: Hedge End and Swanwick stations could benefit from £50 million improvements

She said: “My advice to any of our partners operating these spaces would be to always ensure that passengers have adequate resource to report suspicious activity and incidents of anti-social behaviour as quickly as possible and that any reports of such behaviour are immediately passed on to the police to take swift action.

“By working together, we can create a safe and secure environment for everyone travelling to and from Southampton.”

South Western Railway said it is committed to protecting everyone from intimidation, physical and verbal assault.

“We have Rail Community Officers, Network Reassurance Teams and uniformed security officers patrolling the trains and stations on our network around the clock, as well as a 24-hour control centre monitoring state of the art CCTV equipment”, the rail company added.

Should passengers be worried?

British Transport Police said crime statistics are “not always accurate indicators of risk”.

A spokesperson said: “While we understand any rise in crime figures can be a concern, it’s important to contextualise that the railway network is still a very safe place to be.

“The chances of becoming a victim of crime on the railway network is extremely low.

“When crimes do happen, we’re fortunate to work in a CCTV rich environment to help to bring offenders to justice."