MORE than 600 crimes, including sexual offences, robbery and violence, have been committed at railway stations in East Lancashire over the past four years.

But the number of incidents taking place have fallen in the previous three years, according to the British Transport Police who are planning to put more officers on patrol this year.

Blackburn was the most dangerous railway station in the area, with around 90 crimes committed at the station every year.

Amongst the crimes in the past four years were 32 violent offences, two sexual offences, 12 incidents of criminal damage, four robberies, 20 drug offences and 34 public disorder offences.

Burnley’s three main train stations have seen 95 offences committed over the past four years.

The total number of crimes at stations, which include offences committed on trains that terminate at stations in East Lancashire, has fallen from 180 in 2007 to 172 in 2009.

Chief Superintendent Peter Holden, area commander for British Transport Police North West, said that the railway was still a safe environment for travellers.

He said: “The figures show that the railway is a very safe environment and the chances of becoming a victim of crime are very low.

"However we are not complacent. Passengers and rail staff rightly expect a safe and secure rail network and we will continue working hard to carry on delivering a safer travelling environment for all.”

In the past four years there have been 78 crimes at Accrington station, 21 at Clitheroe, 13 at Colne, 66 at Darwen and 30 at Nelson.

At Preston station there have been 1,467 crimes since 2007.

Mr Holden said that the force was planning to put more officers on patrol in the evenings to make passengers feel even safer.

He said: “The statistics show that the railway in East Lancashire is a safe environment, but being safe and feeling safe are equally important.

“As a result, we are focusing our efforts on putting more police out on patrol on the rail network in the evenings and at night to address any anxieties people may have and to boost passenger confidence.”