London Underground sees huge spike in reported sex crimes and violence

Central Line found to be most dangerous

Charlotte England
Tuesday 16 August 2016 13:55 BST
(Getty Images)

Customers on the London Underground have suffered a 41 per cent increase in violent crimes, including sex crimes, in the past year, new figures reveal.

The big spike in reported incidents bucks a trend of 11 years of reducing crime on the Tube and DLR networks, with the Central Line identified as the route where passengers were most likely to have been assaulted.

According to statistics obtained by the Evening Standard, In the first six months of 2016, 1,961 violent crimes were recorded across the network compared to 1,389 violent crimes in the same period last year. Sexual assaults rose by 40 per cent, from 328 to 460 reported incidents.

A British Transport Police (BTP) spokesperson said they were not entirely suprised by the increase, as they launched the "report it to stop it" campaign in collaboration with Transport for London (TfL) last April. The campaign focuses specifically on sexual assault and gives passengers a number to call or text if they experience or witness a crime.

The figures, which were broken down by Tube line, show that between January and June this year there were more incidents reports on the Central Line than any other, though it is also one of the network's most busy.

“It is disappointing to see that after 11 years of reductions in crime that there was an increase last year," Chief Superintendent Martin Fry, BTP divisional commander for London, told the Evening Standard.

“However, this must be seen in the context that during 2015/16, passenger journeys increased by more than two million, bringing the total number of passenger journeys up to more than 11 million per day.

“In 2005/2006, there were more than 18 crimes per million customer journeys in 2005/6 and that is now down to just 7.3 – meaning the chances of becoming a victim of crime on London’s rail network are extremely low.

“This does not mean we are complacent, each crime is one crime too many.”

The increase comes as TfL prepares to operate a night service for the first time on certain lines from next weekend.

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