A lesson for train commuters on screen

Those who commute by train can now heave a sigh of relief. According to the Government Railway Police, there has been a dip in property crime on trains. Most of the offences were committed on trains at the Tamil Nadu-Andhra Pradesh border and sometimes in trains from Kerala, police officers say.

A total of 16 major crimes, including stealing of suitcases and jewels, took place last year, but this year, only 11 have been reported till date.

To educate passengers across the state, especially at smaller stations, inspector S. Sekar of the Government Railway Police, with the help of an aspiring film director, has come out with a short film on crimes committed on trains. “People who often travel by train have acted in the movie, which has been funded by a private trust,” said P. Madhavan, who directed the film.

Though there were six incidents of theft committed by mixing drugs in biscuits and cool drinks last year, none have been reported this year.

“Most thefts happen on Coromandel express and Grand Trunk Express, and mostly when they reach the Andhra Pradesh-Tamil Nadu border. Many of the doping incidents happen on Bombay Mail and Trivandrum Express routes,” said Mr. Sekar.

Crimes are more frequently reported during summer holidays and festive seasons, when the number of commuters is on the higher side. “Our main headache was doping. But we have been able to bring it down this year by conducting many awareness drives to educate passengers on safety while travelling in trains,” Mr. Sekar said.

The two-minute film will be screened at all railway stations that have television sets, said deputy inspector general of police, railways, R. Dhinakaran.

“People become casual and less alert around their co-passengers on a train. The video depicts real life situations faced by passengers,” said divisional railway manager S. Anantharaman.