The British Transport Police have said they encourage anyone who has been a victim of sexual offence on London’s transport network to speak to them as its harrowing scale on the network has been laid bare.
Between January 1st 2019 to May 24 2021, there have been 1,692 reported cases of sexual assault on London’s transport network, a Freedom of Information request has confirmed.
1,281 of the victims of these attacks identified as female.
Of these incidents, 1,071 took place in 2019 with numbers dropping sharply to 490 in 2020 in a year where travel in the capital was reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This year alone, 131 instances of sexual assault have been reported on the network, 89 of which were targeted at women.
Staggeringly, only 54 attackers have been charged in the period from January 1 2019 to May 24 2021.
MyLondon approached Transport for London and the British Transport Police for a response to the troubling figures.
The operator stressed that undercover patrols are taken across many of the network’s stations and acknowledged that regrettably due to high footfall in busy stations offenders were more likely to target them.
Siwan Hayward, Director of Policing for TfL said: “The safety of our customers is our top priority. TfL and British Transport Police work tirelessly to combat unwanted sexual behaviour, with 3,000 police and police community support officers out on the network to deter and detect offenders.
“All our passengers have the right to travel without fear or intimidation and we’re working closely with the police to eliminate unwanted sexual behaviour from London’s public transport network.
“We encourage anyone who experiences or witnesses a sexual offence to report it.
“We know that for too long these crimes have gone unreported and commend those who come forward to the police. Every single report matters and helps build a picture of the offender so they can be caught and brought to justice.”
The British Transport Police told MyLondon they “welcomed the increased reporting of sexual offences” and urged anybody who had been a victim of a sexual offence on the network to speak to the police.
Detective Chief Inspector Sarah White said: “Although normally an increase in reported crime is seen as negative, we welcome the increased reporting of sexual offences.
“It tells us that more people are understanding that this type of behaviour is unacceptable, and having the confidence to tell us about what’s happened to them.
“We would always encourage anyone to report any unwanted sexual behaviour to us, no report is too small or trivial. Each report we receive provides us with valuable information which we can use to build a picture of an offender.
“Often it allows us to notice a pattern of offending behaviour and we will take action.
“You can text us discreetly on 61016, whether something is happening to you at the time or has happened to you recently. You can also call 0800 40 50 40 or report online. We will always take you seriously.”
The Transport for London stations that recorded the most instances of sexual assault between Jan 2019 to May 2021 were :
- Bank – 60
- Oxford Circus – 60
- Kings Cross – 58
- Liverpool Street – 48
- Stratford – 40
- Green Park – 38
- Holborn Underground – 37
- Victoria – 35
- Mile End – 35
- Baker Street – 32
- London Bridge – 31
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