British Transport Police figures have revealed that violent crime on London’s underground has risen by 43 percent in just three years, while the highest increase were weapons offences at 125 percent.
The figures were released by the BTP in response to a question put to Labour’s London mayor Sadiq Khan by Greater London Assembly member Susan Hall on crime on London’s underground.
The results, as reported by the BBC, reveal that from November 2017 to September 2018, 2,838 violent crimes were reported on London’s Underground, compared to 1,980 from November 2015 to October 2016.
The King’s Cross St Pancras tube station, which connects several lines including the Victoria and Piccadilly lines, had the highest number of recorded offences, followed by the Oxford Circus, Stratford, and Victoria stations.
The statistics also revealed that the highest single increase was in weapons possession at 125 percent, followed by robbery at just over 80 percent. All other areas of crime, including public disorder, criminal damage, and theft from a passenger, have seen increases apart from cable/plant theft, trespass/vandalism, fraud, and bicycle offences, which saw decreases in the three-year period.
Sexual offences have also risen from 935 crimes reported to 1,047, while there has been an overall increase in crime of 25 percent, with 10,450 crimes reported in 2015-16, rising to 13,101 in 2017-18.
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There are 3,000 British Transport Police officers who are charged with policing the country’s railways and light-railway systems. Figures released at the beginning of January revealed that 12 BTP officers are assaulted every week, on average, with many suffering serious injuries.
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) blamed Conservative Government cuts to Transport for London’s budget for the increase in crime, with RMT General-Secretary Mick Cash telling The Guardian: “We now routinely have reports of stations being left unstaffed and the safety culture being ripped apart as London Underground is turned into a thugs’ paradise.”
However, London AM Ms Hall blamed Mayor Khan, telling him to cut the “millions he is spending on City Hall waste” so the city can put “more officers on London’s streets.”
Since Sadiq Khan has become mayor, the city has seen its highest-ever level of knife crime, while the murder rate hit a ten-year high.
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