Reporting sexual violence up 31% on Underground and DLR

By Rachel Bishop on August 21, 2014 11:42 AM |

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Reports of sexual violence on the DLR and London Underground have risen by 31% within the last financial year, according to the latest figures from British Transport Police (BTP).

The figures also showed a 9.5% increase in violence against a person on the network from March 2012-2013 (1,897) to March 2013-2014 (2077).

There were 1,117 sexual offences on the network reported in the 12 months to March 2014 - up from 925 the previous year.

Most of the increase in sexual offences reported were sexual crimes against women or girls, which rose from 485 to 624.

Reporting sexual crime against males rose from 27 to 42, exposure from 141 to 148, and other sexual crime from 272 to 303.

The force said this increase could be due to its recent campaign, Project Guardian, which aims to reduce unwanted sexual behaviour on public transport and encourages victims to report these type of crimes.

BTP Chief constable Paul Crowther said the rise could also be attributed to high-profile prosecutions of celebrities for historic sex offences, which have "undoubtedly given victims more confidence to come forward".

He said: "Project Guardian, a joint initiative between BTP, Metropolitan Police Service Safer Transport Command (STC), City of London Police and Transport for London (TfL), focuses on increasing awareness and confidence amongst 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."