Leeds rail ‘rogues gallery’ police plea

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A rogues gallery of Leeds thieves has been released by police as they urge people to take extra care on and around the railways over Christmas.

British Transport Police (BTP) has published the pictures of criminals they are still looking for over offences from the last 12 months in or close to Leeds rail station.

Do you recognise this man?

Do you recognise this man?

The crooks include bag-snatchers, purse thieves and pickpockets.

BTP Superintendent Eddie Wylie said: “Traditionally we see a rise in the number of people using trains and stations at this time of year.

“Unfortunately with this we also see an increase in thieves targeting passengers on the railway.

“They often look to take advantage of people who may have consumed too much alcohol, or who may be travelling with a lot of luggage to visit family and friends, or unsuspecting shoppers carrying bags containing expensive presents home.”

Special operations will be running at stations and on trains over the festive period.

Uniformed and plain-clothes officers will carry out extra patrols.

Officers will also be on the look-out for people blighting the network with anti-social behaviour or subjecting staff to abuse or attacks.

Luggage tags and crime prevention advice will be handed out to passengers.

They are also being encouraged to register mobile phones and electrical devices on www.immobilise.com – a website that helps police find lost or stolen goods.

As part of the campaign, BTP is revealing the 13 most common tactics used by thieves to help the travelling public protect their gifts and personal belongings during the festive season.

They include distraction techniques, opportunistic thefts and bogus offers of assitance.

Supt Wylie added: “We want to create a hostile environment for thieves, making it as difficult as we can for them to operate on any part of the railway network this Christmas.

“We are undertaking extra high visibility and under cover patrols and will be using the excellent CCTV system on the rail network to catch people in the act and put them before the courts.

“This campaign is also about education. We want people to be aware of the tactics that thieves use and how best they can safeguard themselves and look after their property on crowded trains and at stations.”

He made a direct appeal for the public’s help identifying the suspects pictured, saying: “If you know any of these people and can tell us who they are, we want to hear from you.”

Anyone with information should contact BTP on 0800 405040.

For more on BTP’s campaign visit: www.btp.police.uk/theft

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