A multi-agency communication campaign, ‘Report it To Stop it’, was launched last April with an interactive film highlighting the varying degrees of unwanted sexual behaviour. The film has been viewed by more than 2.6 million people, helping to increase confidence in reporting behaviour that makes people feel uncomfortable.
At the same time, targeted weeks of action have been carried out, where hundreds of uniformed officers have stepped up patrols and advised commuters on how to report unwanted sexual behaviour.
‘Report it to Stop it’ is part of a wider multi-agency focus on tackling unwanted sexual behaviour. Crime on the transport network is at a record low, having fallen for the last nine consecutive years. But research shows that unwanted sexual behaviour has been under-reported.
Following the multi-agency campaign, between April and September 2015 an extra 251 sexual incidents were reported. During this time, 269 offenders have been arrested, compared to 209 the year before.
Detective Superintendent Richard Mann from British Transport Police said: “I am pleased that we have seen an increase in reporting levels and with passengers providing us with more information to help us stop it. Unwanted sexual behaviour is simply not acceptable. Tackling all forms of unwanted sexual behaviour on the railway and underground networks is a real priority for British Transport Police.
“Our message is clear – passengers who experience unwanted sexual behaviour will be believed and taken seriously, and we are just as clear in our message to potential offenders and suspects that we will tackle the problem and fully investigate reports.”
Siwan Hayward, TfL’s Deputy Director of Enforcement and On-Street Operations, said: “Crime on our network is at a record low, but unwanted sexual behaviour is still far too common. We care about our passengers and every journey they make. Through our campaign, our film, the action of our staff and our partnership with the police we want everyone to know we are determined to eradicate unwanted sexual behaviour. If you experience behaviour that makes you feel uncomfortable please report it to the police, as together we can stop it.”
Detective Superintendent Adnan Qureshi, Roads and Transport Policing Command said: "We want to make sure that any kind of sexual offence that occurs on the transport network is investigated and I would urge people to immediately come forward and report their concerns to the police to enable us to bring offenders to justice.”
“Our policing partnership approach is designed to protect and reassure passengers that the MPS, BTP and TfL will not tolerate any incidents of unwanted sexual behaviour and we do all we can to ensure safe and secure journeys for all.”