The London Underground handles over four million passengers every day; but how safe is it really, travelling on London’s most popular mode of transport? On Friday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan revealed his intention to prioritise making London’s transportation safe for all commuters, as he urged the police to take tough action on sexual offences happening on London’s transport, and encouraged women “to speak up and report unwanted sexual behaviour to the police”. The Labour candidate and elected Mayor, Mr Khan, wants “all women and girls to feel confident travelling on our transport network.”
Reports of sexual assault
This announcement came in response to a recent report by #Transport for London, which revealed that reports of sexual assault on the London Underground were on the rise. In 2015 alone, there was a “40 per cent increase in the number of arrests for offences” such as groping and other forms of inappropriate sexual behaviour, as reported on TfL’s website.
Report it to stop it!
Since the ‘Report it to Stop it’ campaign was launched back in April 2015, Transport For London have been working closely with their partners, the Metropolitan Police Service and #British Transport Police; ensuring that every report is dealt with appropriately, and that every woman and girl feels confident speaking out and reporting acts of unsolicited sexual behaviour on the tube.
The campaigns efficiency is evidenced by an increased visual in the number of British Transport Police officers across different London stations (particularly during busy periods). In addition, the increased use of CCTV cameras across London’s transport network have helped to crack-down on offenders and have resulted in more arrests being made.
However, if we ever hope to permanently stop these crimes from happening on our London transport network, then more needs to be done to increase security at the most vulnerable stations, and more needs to be done to reassure commuters of their safety. Though these increased protocols should at least abate some fears about travelling on the London Underground.