Rise in London Underground passengers reported to police for 'intrusive staring'

London Underground
Police are clamping down on intrusive staring on London Underground

A growing number of passengers are being reported to police for staring after a new campaign to crack down on inappropriate behaviour on London Underground.

The campaign by Transport for London aims to tackle sexual harassment faced by women and girls on the Tube such as upskirting and cat calling.

One of the behaviours being clamped down on is staring.

Posters stating ‘intrusive staring of a sexual nature is sexual harassment and is not tolerated’ have been appearing at London Underground stations all over the capital since the campaign was launched.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Detective Inspector Sarah White, who leads the sexual offences team for British Transport Police, said that her team have already started receiving several reports of people who have been caught staring inappropriately.

Posters warning of 'intrusive staring' have appeared on London Underground

The detective said: "It's human nature to stare at things. However, it's very different when someone is staring, leering, or there’s a sexual motivation. We want to know about that staring because that is the behaviour that suggests to me that someone is thinking about a sexual behaviour that supports that staring.

When the anti-harassment campaign was first launched, TfL said: "Sexual harassment is a form of violence, most often directed against women and girls in public places. The safety of women and girls is an absolute priority for TfL and this new campaign is one element of TfL's work to ensure everyone can travel with confidence."The campaign aims to challenge the normalisation and dismissal of this behaviour as ‘something that happens’ to women and girls on public transport and in other public spaces, making it clear that it is never acceptable and that the strongest possible action will always be taken."