Rise in reported sexual offences on transport
THERE has been a rise in the number of people reporting unwanted sexual behaviour on London trains and buses.
The Report It to Stop It campaign was rolled out in a move to encourage people to report to police any untoward behaviour on the transport network, and campaigners are claiming this has made passengers more confident in doing so.
In the past year (2015/16), there was a 31% increase in the number of reports of sexual offences, compared to the previous 12-month period.
As a result of the 1,716 complaints made about indecent behaviour, more than 500 arrests have been made by police.
Just last week, a ‘revolting’ man from Harrow was jailed for sexually assaulting women on London buses.
The Report It to Stop It campaign was jointly launched by Transport for London (TfL), the Metropolitan Police Service ( MPS) and the British Transport Police (BTP) in April 2014.
Steve Burton, TfL’s director of enforcement and on-street operations, said: ‘Following our Report It to Stop It campaign, we have seen a significant increase in the numbers of people having the confidence to report these crimes.
“Together police, we with the are actively encouraging anyone who experiences any kind of unwanted sexual behaviour or who witnesses any other form of crime to come forward – every report is taken seriously and will be investigated to bring perpetrators to justice.
”The transport network remains a low crime environment, with reported crimes 21% down over the last five years.
“We are working closely with the police to further tackle all forms of crime and ensure our customers can continue to travel in our great city with confidence.”
In 2015/16 in total 29,603 crimes were reported on the transport network, a rise of 6.6%, compared to the previous year, which saw the lowest crime figures ever recorded.
The figures are part of TfL’s annual crime statistics bulletin, and in line with previous figures reports of this type of crime continue to increase.
In June this year, a ‘predatory’ man from Hounslow was jailed for ‘touching’ a young woman on a bus.
Chief Superintendent Martin Fry, divisional commander for British Transport Police, added: “With the campaign in place we fully expected to record a rise in sexual offences.
“We know that offences were being under reported and have worked hard during the past two years to give victims and witnesses the confidence to come forward to make us aware of any problems.
“And though it is a concern that so many people are affected by this type of crime, it is pleasing that more and more people seem to have the confidence to report such matters to the BTP.”
On Thursday August 4, police officers were out and about across the tube network talking to the public to encourage them to report crimes in an engagement day.
Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Rickett, Metropolitan Police Service Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: ”Crimes such as these have historically been underreported.
“To change this, the MPS, TfL and other agencies have been working together on initiatives such as Report It to stop It, designed to increase confidence in reporting these offences when they do occur.
“If you have been a victim of such a crime, or you know someone who is, you can be assured that you will be taken seriously. Any allegation will be robustly investigated.”
Contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.