RAIL passengers are being urged to take care after a Freedom of Information request outlined the trend of thefts and missing items.

Great Western Railway suffered the second highest number of thefts/losses on board its trains last year - with only the Transport for London having worse figures according to the FOI to British Transport Police by gadget research provider ProtectYourBubble.com

Overall thefts/losses on the railway surged 11.3 per cent last year, with those recorded on TFL trains accounting for 45.8 per cent of the overall total.

There were reports of 560 thefts on GWR trains, equating to more than ten a week - that was down from 671 in 2017 and 666 in 2016, but slightly up on the 522 incidents in 2015, according to ProtectYourBubble.com

James Brown, director of ProtectYourBubble.com, said: "These figures show that it is more important than ever to safeguard yourself and your valuables while travelling on the rail network.

"The problem of thefts is particularly stark in the capital. The increasing value of smartphones and other transportable tech, as well as an ever-growing number of tourists visiting the capital, means London’s busy rail and tube networks offer rich pickings for opportunistic criminals.

"But it’s not just Londoners who need to be vigilant during their travels, we all need to keep an eye on our possessions, especially at peak times when many opportunistic thieves tend to strike."

A GWR spokesman said it is incorrect to suggest you are more likely to be a victim of theft on a GWR service.

He said the figures reflect the number of items lost OR stolen.

He added: "They don’t take into account which is which (and often those reporting lost/stolen – usually for insurance purposes – don’t know either).

"More importantly, the numbers don’t reflect the number of thefts as a percentage of the number of people travelling on our services, which you would need in order to make that statement.

"We carry more than 120 million people a year on our services, making the chances of you having an item lost or stolen 0.000466%."