Police have reported a huge spike in the number of sexual assaults being reported on the London Underground network, saying that 1,961 violent and sex crimes were recorded across the network in the first six months of this year.
The latest figures from the British Transport Police represents a 41 per cent increase compared with the same period last year, when 1,389 similar crimes were recorded.
Police stressed officers were working hard to tackle all forms of violent and sex crime on the Tube and DLR network.
A BTP spokesman said a rise in the number of sexual offences had been expected following the launch of ‘report it to stop it’ in April last year – a new campaign to tackle unwanted sexual behaviour on public transport.
Tube passengers were most at risk of becoming a victim of a violent or sex crime when travelling on the Central Line – the longest on the London Underground network – according to the FOI data from January 1 to June 30 this year.
The Jubilee line was the second most crime-ridden service with 298 violent or sexual incidents reported, while the The Northern line was the third most dangerous with 262.
On the Victoria line there were 228 offences reported, whilst the Piccadilly line was fifth with 169.
Across the network, 1,501 violent incidents were recorded from January 1 to June 30 this year, compared with 1061 over the first six months of 2015.
Some 460 sex crimes were recorded on the London Underground for the first half of this year, compared with 328 in the same period in 2015.
Chief Superintendent Martin Fry, BTP divisional commander for London, said: “It is disappointing see that after 11 years of reductions in crime that there was an increase last year.
“However, this must be seen in the context that during 2015/16, passenger journeys increased by more than two million, bringing the total number of passenger journeys up to more than 11 million per day.
“In 2005/2006, there were more than 18 crimes per million customer journeys in 2005/6 and that is now down to just 7.3 – meaning the chances of becoming a victim of crime on London’s rail network are extremely low.
Steve Burton, TfL’s Director of Enforcement and On-Street Operations, said: “The Tube network is a safe, low-crime environment with very few people ever experiencing or witnessing crime.
“In the last 12 months there have been around two violence offences for every million passenger journeys and the vast majority of these were low-level with serious violence being thankfully rare.
“One crime is one too many and we are working closely with the police to further improve the safety and security of travelling on our network.”