POLICE are set to increase patrols on trains and at railway stations at night in an attempt to combat sexual offences against women.

The increased presence of British Transport Police officers is part of a dedicated operation aimed at keeping women safe on the railway network.

The force’s strategy is targeted at providing reassurance to women travelling at night, with “highly visible and unpredictable patrols” to combat crime or behaviour that makes women feel unsafe.

According to the British Transport Police, the increased presence began earlier this month and will run across the festive period and into the new year across England, Scotland and Wales.

British Transport Police Assistant Chief Constable Allan Gregory said the scheme comes as the force continue to tackle sexual offences and sexual harassment on the railway.

He also encourages passengers who experience or witness unacceptable behaviour, such as touching, leering, indecent exposure and upskirting, to report it by talking to a police officer or texting 61016.

“Everyone has the right to feel safe when travelling on the network and we are especially dedicated to making sure this is the case for women at night.

“The aim of the increased police presence on trains and at stations is to deter sexual offenders and provide reassurance to anyone travelling on night-time services.

“I urge anyone who feels unsafe or wants to report an incident to approach our officers.

“We are here for you. Nothing is too small or too trivial and we will always take you seriously.”