Gun law comes to London Tube

Police fear that two masked robbers who held up eight women at gun point on the London Underground could strike again.

The gunmen only stole about pounds 50 in the late-night attack. Video pictures of the assailants were released yesterday and a pounds 1,000 reward for the their capture has been offered.

The move is seen as a frightening escalation in the level of violence on the railway system. Attacks involving firearms on the Underground, however, remain extremely rare. The number of robberies on the Tube has gone down by 3 per cent to 560 in the last year.

The robbery happened on Saturday night in north-west London but details were only released yesterday because the police have had problems in interviewing the victims - six of whom are from Ethiopia, Somalia and Uganda, one from Singapore and the eighth has yet to be contacted.

The women, all in their 20s and 30s, had been working on late shifts doing casual work.

The robbers were first seen at about 11pm by the Singaporean women on the Bakerloo Line train at Harrow and Wealdstone.

The two men, who were photographed by Underground surveillance cameras, were joined on the platform by two teenage girls who then left the station.

The suspects got on the empty southbound train with the victim. As the train left the station the two men pulled down dark coloured woollen balaclavas and drew handguns. They took about pounds 4 in loose change before the woman was allowed to leave at the next station.

Further along the line at Stonebridge Park station, seven women boarded the train. The men robbed them of about pounds 50 before fleeing at Willesden Junction.

Detective Inspector Alan Pacey, of the British Transport Police, who is heading the investigation into the robberies, said: "We are concerned there could be repeated incidents although there is nothing to suggest that the Underground was targeted specifically.

"It is extremely rare for guns to be used on the Underground."

The rail unions have argued that cuts in staff have made the Underground system less safe. The tube train involved in the latest robbery did not have a guard and the driver was unaware of the attacks.

The use of firearms is rare but gangs of youths have used a technique called "steaming" to move through carriages at great speed snatching bags and wallets. One of the most serious incidents involving a firearm on the London Underground happened in July 1995 when a gunman shot a tube passenger after an argument at Stockwell station in south London.

The gun was fired in the victim's face but at the last minute he lifted his arm to defend himself and the bullet was deflected by the metal bangle he was wearing.

Owners of the newly privatised railways have also recognised that security needs to be improved and have recently begun hiring security guards to protect against pickpockets and robbers.

The gunmen involved in the incident on Saturday were described as black and aged 17-20. They were wearing dark puffa-style jackets and dark jeans and were about 5ft 8ins to 5ft 10ins tall.

Anyone who has information about the incident should contact British Transport Police on 0171-380 1400.

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
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.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence