UK

Reports Of Sexual Offences On London Underground Are Rising, According To New Figures

27/05/2015 17:00 BST

The number of sexual offences reported on London's public transport network is soaring.

There were 34.7% more sexual offences reported on the network in 2014/15 than in 2013/14, Transport for London (TfL) said.

TfL said there were 567 sexual offences reported on London Underground (LU) and on Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in 2014/15 compared with 429 in 2013/14.

The number of sexual offences on London Overground rose from 22 in 2013/14 to 45 in 2014/15, while there were 684 sexual offences on London's buses in 2014/15 compared with 513 in 2013/14.

There were also 13 sexual offences on London Tramlink in 2014/15 compared with eight in 2013/14.

But while this may seem like bad news, it may in fact mean that people are becoming more confident in reporting such incidents.

london underground

The number of sexual offences reported on London's transport network has soared

TfL said the rise in reported sexual offences could be attributed to a group effort between TfL, British Transport Police (BTP) and the Metropolitan Police's Project Guardian initiative.

TfL said the initiative "raised public awareness of unwanted sexual behaviour and encourages victims to report these historically under-reported crimes".

Earlier this year, BTP released a shocking video as part of the crackdown on unwanted sexual behaviour.

Entitled ‘Report It To Stop It’, the clip showed a woman being sexually harassed on the Tube.

It then showed how to report such incidents via text.

Any incidents of unwanted sexual behavior on public transport by texting what happened, where and when to 61016 or calling 101.

Victims are not required to prove whether actions were criminal or intentional - police will take responsibility for investigating the offence.

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Today’s figures also revealed that total crime on the network fell to a record low. There were 27,758 crimes on London's public transport network - 8.3% fewer than in 2013/14.

There were also increases in reported incidents of violence against the person, with LU/DLR cases rising from 2,077 in 2013/14 to 2,255 in 2014/15, while the number of incidents on buses rose from 4,893 in 2013/14 to 5,801 in 2014/15.

London mayor Boris Johnson said: "I applaud the success of BTP , the Metropolitan Police and TfL in bringing crime down to record lows. We will be relentless in driving it down even further.

"I am also very pleased that Londoners have been given greater confidence to report sexual offences following the launch of Project Guardian."

BTP chief constable Paul Crowther said: "Our role is to ensure that passengers and staff are not only kept safe and secure, but that they feel safe and secure, whatever time of day or night they are travelling on the network."