FOUR of the region’s railway stations have been officially named as among the safest in the country.

Northallerton, Thirsk, Thornaby and Malton have all been recognised as safe and secure for both rail passengers and staff.

A combined total of more than 2.4m passengers use the stations every year and the Department for Transport measured the stations against a set of criteria including the number of reported crimes compared to the number of customers using the station.

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British Transport Police confirmed that Northallerton has the lowest customer to crime ratio of 1 to 102,376, while Malton, Thornaby and Thirsk present ratios of 1 to 58,723, 1 to 26,094 and 1 to 18,721 respectively.

And now the stations, each managed by First TransPennine Express (FTPE), have been re-accredited to the Government’s Secure Stations Scheme.

FTPE’s police liaison officer Billy Vickers said: “This is really good news for some of our stations in the North East. Safety is our number one priority and we have and will continue to work to improve the station environment for the benefit of customers and staff.

“Customers expect to travel and colleagues have the right to work in safe and secure environments. Rail stations are open public places that are vulnerable to increased levels of crime.”

FTPE conducts regular safety audits are in partnership with the BTP and has also invested £17m to make stations safe environments, including the installation of CCTV and customer help points.

BTP crime reduction officer Paul Hardy said: “The Secure Stations scheme is an important element in securing our rail system, reassuring passengers and staff, and ensuring the continued success of the industry.”

"The rail system is a low crime environment and one where increasing resources are being put into combating anti-social behaviour and disorder.

“However, if we are going to drive down crime and anti-social behaviour further, we need to continue to work together in a smarter and more planned way.

“That is what the Secure Stations Scheme can offer – a meaningful measure of better co-operative working between station operators and the police, not only of crime, but more importantly of how people feel about the stations they travel to and from.”