- 2 updates
Police moved to reassure commuters today after revealing a huge increase in sexual assaults on our transport network. Total crime on trains and tubes in London and the South East has remained reasonably stable - more than 40 thousand offences is slightly down on last year. But there's been a sharp increase in sex crimes reported - on the tube and DLR up 31% to 428. On trains its a similar picture - sexual offences are up 30% to 417.
Police say it's because victims feel more comfortable coming forward. So should we feel safe on public transport?
See more of what Ellie did to reclaim the tube, following the assault. WARNING: her YouTube video at this link contains sexually explicit language.
New figures from British Transport Police have revealed a rise in the number of people being sexually assaulted on trains and tubes.
Nationwide, the number of sexual offences recorded in 2013/4 was 1,117, a 20.8% increase on the previous year.
On the London Underground and DLR, while total crime was the same as last year, sex crimes were up 31.2% and violence against passengers up 9.5% Drugs offences were up 54.5%
On the south east rail network, total crime was down 3%, and violent crime was down 5%, but sex offences were up 30% and those involving drugs jumped 57%.
The force says an increased awareness of the need to report sexual assaults is partly behind the rise.
But unions reacted angrily, with Mick Cash, acting general secretary of the RMT saying: "The 10% increase in violence on LU and the DLR should also serve as a wake-up call to London Mayor Boris Johnson who is ploughing ahead with his own plans to remove station and platform staff and close ticket offices. The cuts to jobs and services have to be reversed if we are to stop our transport services from descending deeper into the kinds of criminals' paradise that is exposed in these horrific new statistics."