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London low hailed

Crime on London’s transport network is at a record low rate after falling by 8.3 per cent in 2014/15 compared to last year with 2,502 fewer offences and the rate of crime down to seven offences per million passenger journeys. On the London Underground and Docklands Light Railway (DLR) network, crime has fallen by a further 12.4 per cent – the ninth consecutive year of reduced crime.

Meanwhile the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, London Underground (LU) and British Transport Police (BTP) set out their plans for what they term robust policing of Night Tube services, which will include more police numbers out on patrol across the LU network than seen at any time after 10pm on a Friday.

When Night Tube services are introduced in September 2015, LU says that it’s committed to staffing stations at all times, backed by an increased police presence, to ensure the transport network remains a low crime environment. What the authorities call an enhanced policing presence during the overnight services will include more than 100 officers out on visible patrol.

These officers will be patrolling the 144 stations that will be open all night each weekend when Night Tube services begin, increasing the presence at each station compared to existing operating hours. More BTP Police Community Support Officers will also be out.

The reductions in crime rate have been achieved across the whole Transport for London (TfL) transport network and against a backdrop of rising passenger numbers. Crime on the bus network fell by 5.7 per cent, and is also the ninth consecutive year this has fallen. London Overground saw a reduction in crime of 4.9 per cent and on Tramlink services there was a 22.7 per cent reduction in crime.

Increases were recorded in certain crime types on some parts of the network. Reported sexual offences have risen by 34.7 per cent across the network which can be attributed to TfL, BTP and the Metropolitan Police’s Project Guardian initiative, which has raised public awareness of unwanted sexual behaviour and encourages victims to report these historically under-reported crimes.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: ‘I applaud the success of British Transport Police, Metropolitan Police and TfL in bringing crime down to record lows. We will be relentless in driving it down even further and will be making an enhanced police presence available for the Night Tube so that the network remains a safe, low crime environment whatever the time of day. I am also very pleased that Londoners have been given greater confidence to report sexual offences following the launch of Project Guardian.’

Mike Brown, Managing Director of London Underground, said: ‘The Night Tube services are set to transform night time journeys for millions of people across London, boosting jobs and helping maintain London’s status as a vibrant and exciting place to live, work and visit. When we introduce all night services on London Underground, the safety and security of our staff and customers will continue to be our top priority. As we have seen crime on the network fall by over 12 per cent in the last year, with our network one of the safest in the world, we will continue to work closely with our policing partners, bringing out more than 100 police officers each night to keep people safe and secure as we make this exciting change to London’s metro services.’

Chief Constable Paul Crowther OBE, of British Transport Police, said: ‘Our role is to ensure that passengers and staff are not only kept safe and secure, but that they feel safe and secure, whatever time of day or night they are travelling on the network. With our specialist skills in railway policing and expertise in operating in this unique environment we are prepared for the challenges and opportunities that the Night Tube will bring.

‘We have conducted research at comparable night metro services across the globe to inform our approach and we will have additional officers recruited specifically for the Night Tube services, ensuring they are highly visible and at the right place at the right time.’

Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Rickett, MPS Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: ‘These fantastic crime reduction figures are down to robust policing, quality engagement with the public and strong partnership working by the Roads and Transport Policing Command and its partners Transport for London and the British Transport Police. However, any crime is one too many and together we will continue to safeguard the travelling public from criminals operating on London’s transport network. Our message is clear: if you commit crime on the transport network we will identify you and arrest you.’

The policing model for Night Tube services will see a permanent presence at key stations identified through BTP analysis, and mobile teams who will travel the lengths of the Northern, Piccadilly, Central, Victoria and Jubilee lines throughout the night. A network of BTP rapid response vehicles across London will also be in place to ensure police will be ready to attend any incident quickly. Police presence will be backed up by 13,000 CCTV cameras across the network, supported by the London Underground Control Centre, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, working closely with the police to respond to any incidents that may occur.

In creating the policing strategy for Night Tube services, BTP spoke to other metro networks across the world that operate 24 hour services, with the overwhelming feedback that crime is no greater through the night than at any other time of the day. This has helped BTP plan their approach ensuring they are highly visible with officers at the right place at the right time to combat crime.


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