Record Number of Fare Evaders in North Rhine-Westphalia
Fare Evasion and Rail Safety Concerns Escalate

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A recent report from Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR) highlights a significant increase in fare evasion cases in North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf. Last year, nearly 12,900 individuals were caught without valid tickets, an increase of 3,500 from the previous year. This number only accounts for detected incidents, indicating a potentially higher number of unreported cases. Public transportation companies face substantial revenue losses due to fare evasion, prompting a VRR spokesperson to stress the need for continued investment in control measures. VRR also underscores the importance of maintaining fare evasion as a criminal offense to prevent further losses and deter offenders. 

The report also raises concerns about ongoing assaults on railway staff, which remain a major issue for public transportation operators. Ensuring employee safety is crucial as it directly influences the attractiveness of working in the rail industry. 

Despite these challenges, overall rail travel safety in North Rhine-Westphalia has improved, with over 600 fewer incidents reported compared to 2022. Incidents of vandalism, aggressive begging, and trespassing have significantly decreased. Enhanced security measures, including the deployment of NRW security personnel and increased video surveillance at stations and on trains, have contributed to these improvements. This year, video monitoring was installed at 40 minor train stations in North Rhine-Westphalia, with plans to add 58 more by the end of the year. 

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