It is three years since we introduced our pioneering and innovative 61016 text number, which has now received more than 32,500 messages from UK rail users.
The service allows the public to report non-emergency incidents on the railway discreetly, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Following its launch, our officers have responded to almost 5,000 incidents and recorded just over 2,300 crimes – all as a result of a simple text message.
As the 61016 number turns three this month, our friends at London Midland are helping us celebrate with the introduction of…The SMS Express.
A London Midland train has been wrapped in our text number in a bid to encourage even more people to contact us when they see something they are concerned about on the rail network.
The train came into service last week and runs on London Midland’s Cross City line between Lichfield and Redditch via Birmingham New Street, carrying more than one million passengers a month.
BTP’s Deputy Chief Constable, Adrian Hanstock, said:
“We recognise the way people want to communicate with us is changing and no other force in the country takes reports by text message to the extent we do.
“We are proud to offer this service and while we have seen the numbers using it grow steadily each year, we are keen to encourage even more people to text us.
“That is why we are delighted London Midland has agreed to wrap one of their trains on a key route through Birmingham with our text campaign.
“Not only will it be seen by the thousands of passengers who use that line, but it will also pass through Birmingham New Street 14 times a day where the millions of people using the station will only have to glance across the platform and see our text number.
“We hope The SMS Express will raise awareness of our text 61016 service, allowing us to serve the travelling public better by responding to even more people when they need us.”
David Whitley, head of Cross City services at London Midland, said:
“Everybody has the right to travel safely and securely across our network.
“The 61016 service makes it simple and easy for our passengers to contact the British Transport Police quickly, anonymously and with complete confidence. There is no doubt that 61016 is making a real difference.”
Rugby railway station is also helping us celebrate the text message service’s third birthday.
From today (14 March) passengers will also see a large 61016 banner on the multi-storey car park, as well as doors and windows displaying the number.
Sarah Forrest, Virgin Trains Station Manager at Rugby, said:
“At Virgin Trains, safety is always our priority and the British Transport Police’s text number is a great way to help our customers feel safe when travelling.
“We’re pleased to be working with them to promote this initiative and hope that the number of rail passengers using this service continues to grow.”