Number of crimes on London Underground has increased according to official stats

Over 11,000 crimes were committed on the Tube and Overground last year which is an increase of six per cent, official figures have revealed.

The annual bulletin of crime statistics published by the British Transport Police shows 11,410 crimes were recorded on the Transport for London network between the beginning of April last year, and the end of March 2017.

British Transport Police say the increase of crimes is due to a number of factors, including more victims and witnesses coming forward to report crimes, and the growth of the network. The number of passenger journeys on the railways increased by 17.5 million over the last year.

Of the 11,410 cases, over 1,000 of the offences committed on the network were sex crimes, and over 2,000 were violent crimes against another person.

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According to the annual stats, sexual offences against women are the most common – but 22 of the 1,032 sex crimes recorded on the TfL network were committed against men, which is up just one from last year’s figures.

The number of all other types of sex crime has increased, with an overall rise of 15 per cent since the same period in 2016. The number of recorded sex crimes were also up in the force’s South area, which covers commuter routes from Kent, Surrey, and Sussex into London.

The success of BTP’s ‘Report it to Stop it’ campaign in 2015 could explain the number of recorded sex crimes, as a partnership between the policing authority and TfL has encouraged people to come forward after experiencing unwanted sexual behaviour on the network.

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Figures also show during the period April 2016 to the end of March 2017, 1,636 common assaults were committed on the network, up from 1,317 last year. The number of violence against another person generally rose by nearly 20 per cent.

Public order offences, including 576 racially or religiously aggravated crimes “causing public fear, alarm or distress” are on the rise, with a total of 1,884 crimes recorded in the 12 month period, compared to 1,617 in the previous report.

The number of criminal damage offences also significantly increased, with the number of recorded offences increasing by nearly 37 per cent. Incidents of graffitiing were a particular area of growth, according to the stats.

Robbery and drug crime also increased on the network since the last report. Cases of fraud, theft of railway property, theft of passenger property and motor or cycle crime all decreased.

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Chief Constable Paul Crowther said: “Despite this increase, the chance of you becoming a victim of crime on the railway remains low, with just 16 crimes for every million journeys made on our railways. A decade ago, we recorded more than twice this.

“As the network expands and becomes busier, it’s not surprising that more crimes are recorded. Stations are also becoming entertainment hubs, with Birmingham New Street and London St Pancras just two examples of railway stations attracting more people to their shops, bars and coffee shops.

“In addition to the increase in the number of people using the railway, we have also worked hard to make it easier for people to report crime to us.

“Recorded crimes are more than a third lower than they were ten years ago, despite passenger journeys increasing by 44 per cent in that time.

“Crime on the railway has decreased by 34 per cent compared with 2006 to 2007, and crimes like robbery have decreased by 82 per cent, theft of passenger property by 47 per cent and criminal damage by 55 per cent.”

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