Commuters can now report anti-social behaviour on trains to the police via SMS.
British Transport Police launched the new SMS service yesterday in the hope that it will encourage more public transport users to let officers know about unacceptable conduct from passengers.
Those who send a text describing the incident to 61016 will be able to alert police in a more anonymous manner than had previously been available to them.
Paul Crowther, who is deputy chief constable at British Transport Police, has claimed that this could be key to more crimes being reported.
In an interview with standard.co.uk, he said: “Text messaging is a quick and everyday way to communicate and we know passengers want to be able to contact us this way.
“By encouraging passengers to also report incidents via text, we hope we’ll get a more complete picture of the sort of low-level but all too common incidents that affect people’s journeys across the network.”
London24.com reports that the service will be monitored 24 hours a day, although British Transport Police was unable to guarantee a swift response to crime reports.
For this reason, police have encouraged public transport users to continue dialling 999 if they witness an emergency.