80,000 pounds for 'safer stations'

A pioneering project to make railway stations safer for women who fear being attacked or robbed has been given the go-ahead.

The scheme comes after a survey showed 85 per cent of women were concerned about safety. Many made huge detours to avoid getting off at isolated or badly lit platforms.

It will involve four south London stations - Sydenham Hill, Denmark Hill, West Dulwich and Nunhead. All are open stations, which have no ticket collectors and are often unstaffed outside peak hours.

South Eastern, one of the companies that has taken over from Network SouthEast in running trains in south-east London and Kent, has agreed to earmark pounds 40,000 for better lighting, emergency telephones and mirrors for blind corners.

Southwark council will spend pounds 40,000, too, making areas near the stations safer.

Tessa Jowell, Labour MP for Dulwich, who conducted the survey and has been campaigning for improvements, said: 'When I pursued this with the police, I found they had good cause for concern. In parts of my constituency, over 80 per cent of street crime takes place within 200 yards of railway stations. There is no better way of dealing with crime and the fear of crime than putting staff back on platforms and in ticket offices.

The move towards open stations, with lower staffing levels, has been widely introduced in the south-east region in the past few years. According to Ms Jowell, since staffing levels at London's stations was cut, crime has increased.

In all, 70,154 incidents were reported on the British Rail network in 1992, a 35 per cent increase on the 51,779 incidents 10 years earlier. Over the same period, BR staffing levels have halved. In 1993, up to 35,000 crimes were reported at BR stations, staffed and unstaffed, in an area centred on London and stretching to East Anglia and the south coast.

Travellers using Sydenham Hill are concerned at the poor access from Kingswood estate. They have to use a poorly lit, steep flight of stairs through a wooded area - ideal for crime.

South Eastern is keen to work with local councils to improve safety in and around stations and sees the Dulwich initiative as the first of many.

'We need to take positive steps in managing crime on the system,' said David Ewart, media relations officer. 'The money can be spent flexibly, whether on modifying the station so restricted view areas are taken out or by replacing high fences with transparent panelling.'

But he ruled out platform video cameras as probably too expensive, and thought it unlikely more staff would be employed.

'Station staff they may well not be able to do anything about vandalism.

South Eastern prefers to rely on its mobile teams and on British Transport and local police.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Portfolio Administrator

    £14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has become known a...

    Recruitment Genius: Mechanical and Electrical Engineer - Midlands

    £35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of refrig...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales / Account Manager

    £22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales / Account Manager is re...

    Ashdown Group: Application Developer - C#.Net, ASP.Net - Cambridgeshire

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Software Application Developer (C# & ASP.Net, SQL S...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

    Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

    The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
    LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

    Education: LGBT History Month

    Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot