UK & World News

  • 21 August 2014, 7:17

Sexual Crimes On Britain's Trains Increase

The number of sexual crimes committed on trains in England, Wales and Scotland has gone up in the past year.

The latest figures released by British Transport Police (BTP) show a 20% increase, with 1,117 sexual offences in 2013/14 compared to 925 in 2012/13.

Most were against women but men were also victims.

BTP said the increase was slightly higher than that experienced by police forces nationally, but believed it was partly down to people being more willing to report incidents in the wake of high-profile prosecutions of celebrities for historical sexual offences.

Overall, for the 10th year in a row, there has been a drop in the number of the most serious crimes committed on Britain's railways, falling from 53,885 to 50,840 in 2012/13 - more than 3,000 fewer offences.

It includes a reduction of 18% in recorded robberies, a 17% drop in theft of passenger property and a 37% fall in theft of cable from the railway.

Speaking about the rise in sexual offences, BTP Chief Constable Paul Crowther said the force's Project Guardian had had a significant impact.

He said the scheme "focuses on increasing awareness and confidence among the public to report unwanted sexual behaviour to the police or members of staff".

"We are particularly interested in those offences which are often unreported, such as sexual assault, exposure, outraging public decency, lewd comments and harassment," he said.

"For the coming months and years we will have one simple goal - to make sure everyone who travels or works on the railway can get home every day, safe, secure and on time."

Figures show that 15% of women who have used the underground or trains in London have experienced unwanted sexual behaviour on the network, but 90% did not report it because they did not think it was serious enough.

Jodie Mcleay told Sky News that she did not tell police what happened to her on a train at midday from the capital to Luton.

She said: "It was a reasonably packed train and I heard a man behind me and realised he was acting quite inappropriately for that time of day.

"I think I was shocked more than anything, a bit disgusted and then didn't know how to react, whether to make a scene."

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