Saturday, March 12, 2016

Tackling Crime on Public Transport
– Project Guardian & Sexual Offences

The Police & Crime Committee of the London Assembly have been considering how to reduce crime and improve safety on the capital’s public transport system and to examine how the various agencies could better work together to achieve these aims.


The Committee looked at the multi-agency work helping to prevent crime on public transport and innovative new projects – such as Project Guardian – tackling sexual offending on the network.

Although the current risk of becoming a victim of crime on public transport is relatively low, there is an issue around under-reporting of crime and anti-social behaviour, making it difficult to establish the true extent of crime. The fear of crime and anti-social behaviour on public transport can also prevent some people from using it.

The investigation looked at the rise in reports of violence and sexual offences and concludes with some reflections on the challenges a new Mayor will face as London moves towards becoming a truly 24 hour city: effectively policing the taxi and private hire trades, and the soon to be introduced Night Tube will require new approaches and appropriate resourcing.

The report (Click!) concludes with the following recommendations:
  1. Robust monitoring of the increase in reports of sexual offences is essential to understand the nature and true extent of unwanted sexual behaviour on London’s public transport network. The level of under-reporting should come down if the increase is due to confidence to report rather than an actual increase in crime. TfL must establish a clear baseline to ensure transparency in progress made.
  2. The new Mayor should review the outcomes from Project Guardian. The new Mayor should also explore how to further increase public awareness and confidence to report sexual offences on public transport, maximising on the communication techniques that are available
  3. There are lessons to be learned from Project Guardian that could be applied to other crimes across the network. The new Mayor should bring TfL, the Met, BTP and City of London Police together to develop a new strategy for enabling travellers to report all crimes and anti-social behaviour more easily on public transport in London.
  4. We believe that increased enforcement powers should be given to TfL and the police to ensure stronger sanctions for touting, including seizure of vehicles. The new Mayor needs to lobby the Ministry of Justice on this.
  5. The new Mayor must ensure strong partnership structures to constantly monitor, review and learn from the Night Tube, and to enable a swift response to any emerging police and crime concerns, including fear of crime. TfL should publish a crime assessment report in three, six and 12 months following the commencement of the Night Tube.
The Committee is still open to comments on the report. Please send these to Janette Roker, Scrutiny Manager, via janette.roker@london.gov.uk.

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