The Great Train Robberies - thefts on trains doubled in 2022

  • More than 8,298 items were stolen from people on trains in 2022 – a 98 per cent increase on the previous year – with a total value of £2.1 million
  • The most common items stolen on trains include mobile phones, handbags, jewellery, and computers
  • More thefts were reported in the first four month of this year (4,388) compared to the whole of 2021 (4,191)
  • Finsbury Park (602), Westham (589) and Stockwell (493) reported the greatest number of thefts last year, with the fewest reports in Wimbledon and Richmond (1 each)
  • Outside of Greater London, Birmingham (101), Manchester (92) and Southampton (19) reported the greatest number of thefts last year, with the fewest reports in Dundee and Glasgow (1 each)

The number of thefts reported on trains in the UK doubled in 2022 according to new Freedom of Information research from Direct Line Home Insurance.1 There were 8,298 reported thefts in 2022, a 98 per cent increase from the 4,191 reported in 2021. From January 2021 to April 2023, there have been almost 17,000 reports of items stolen on trains or London’s underground network. Shockingly, in the first four months of 2023, there were more thefts reported (4,388) than in the entirety of 2021 (4,191).

The total value of items stolen on trains in 2022 was £2,160,463, with the most common items reported stolen being personal communication devices such as mobile phones (4,019) and personal accessories like handbags (1,463). Jewellery was stolen 153 times and computers were stolen 116 times.

London train networks reported the greatest number of thefts with 6,531 reports in 2022. Finsbury Park (602), Stockwell (493) and Kings Cross St Pancras (419) reported the greatest number of thefts last year, with the fewest reports in Wimbledon and Richmond (1 each). Across Central London, 1,967 thefts were reported. The British Transport Police confirmed the underground tube lines with the most reported thefts were the Northern line (103) and Jubilee line (100), while the fewest reported thefts were on the Bakerloo line (10).

While the greatest number of thefts on trains occurred within the Greater London region, elsewhere in the UK, Birmingham (101), Manchester (92) and Southampton (19) reported the most thefts. The regions with the fewest reported thefts in 2022 include Dundee and Glasgow (1). 

Top 10 areas in Greater London with the most thefts on trains in the UK (2022)

Area of Train Theft

Number of Reports

Finsbury Park

602

West Ham

589

Stockwell

493

Kings Cross St Pancras

419

Croydon

382

Hammersmith

370

Camden Road

341

Victoria

272

Ilford

263

Paddington

217

London Bridge

204

 Source: Direct Line Home Insurance

 

Top 10 areas outside of Greater London with the most thefts on trains in the UK (2022)

Area of Train Theft

Number of Reports

Birmingham

101

Manchester

92

Cambridge, Luton and Stevenage

87

Ashford and Maidstone

38

Liverpool

36

Guilford

30

Reading

29

Cardiff

23

Newcastle

20

Southampton

19

 Source: Direct Line Home Insurance

Dan Simson, Head of Direct Line Home Insurance, comments: “This significant rise in reports of theft on trains is unfortunate and will prove devastating for many. People will be making plans for the summer which may involve train travel so it is important to be vigilant on trains and in stations to protect yourself and your valuable items from being stolen.

“In the case of theft, make sure to take appropriate safety measures like notifying your bank and changing your password, and in the event that you have something stolen, report it to the police as soon as possible. We would advise people to check that any personal possessions insurance policy they have has the appropriate level of cover to make sure they are protected in the event of a theft.”

The National Police Chiefs’ Council advise protecting yourself from mobile phone theft by2:

  1. Not leaving your phone, iPad, tablet or camera unattended, out of sight or left on a table in public.
  2. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and only use your mobile when it feels safe to.
  3. When finished using your mobile phone, put it away in a safe and secure manner.

 

If your phone gets stolen, the NPCC advises you to:

  • Secure your phone using your phone’s security features to stop someone from using your phone if it’s stolen. Choose a strong PIN, passcode, password or pattern.
  • Get your IMEI number by typing *#06# on your phone keypad. Keep a note of it somewhere other than on your phone. The IMEI can help track the phone down if it’s lost or stolen.
  • Use a tracking app on your phone so you can see where it is from another device like a laptop. Use it as soon as possible, before thieves have a chance to disable it.
  • Turn off message previews so that thieves won’t see any messages about reset or login codes when your phone is locked.
  • Make sure you can still access your data via other devices.

 

-ENDS-

 

Notes to Editors

(1)     This data was acquired by Direct Line Insurance through an FOI request to the British Transport Police. The data covers all areas policed by the British Transport Police, including Britain’s railways, London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, the Midland Metro tram system, Croydon Tramlink, Tyne and Wear Metro, Glasgow Subway and Emirates AirLine. The data was received on 5th June, 2023.

(2)     Protect your phone | Police.uk (www.police.uk)

Direct Line Group:

Alice Osborn

PR Manager

Email: [email protected]

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.  

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