Sadiq Khan lashes out at ‘incorrect use of figures’ suggesting ‘huge rise’ in London Underground crime

By Staff

Sadiq Khan has lashed out at ‘incorrect’ figures suggesting a huge rise in violent crime on the London Underground. The capital’s mayor claims that the erroneous information undermines Londoners’ confidence to use public transport, insisting that the it remains a ‘low crime environment and a safe way to travel’.

It comes after, Mr Khan says, British Transport Police (BTP) data showed that there were 3,542 violent offences between December 1, 2022 and November 30, 2023. This, he added, was 20 per cent higher than the previous year – an additional 579 offences – and 75 per cent higher than between December 1, 2020 and November 30, 2021 – an additional 1,513.

The mayor insisted that these increases are ‘in line with the return of passenger numbers following the pandemic’. The Daily Mail reported in January that violent crime on the Tube network had risen by 75 per cent in the last two years. This the paper based on data compiled by the British Transport Police, which recorded ‘3,542 incidents on the underground in the 12 months to last November, compared to 2,029 two years ago’.

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Mr Khan said: “Passenger numbers fell to records lows, as did transport crime levels, during the pandemic when lockdown restrictions were in place and many people were working from home. The comparison of recent crime levels with those during the pandemic is not a valid comparison.

“Overall, Transport for London ’s (TfL’s) public transport crime trends largely reflect national crime trends in rising from the lower volumes recorded during the pandemic.”

Crime increase ‘incorrectly reported’

Mr Khan then claimed that the data was written about wrongly by the media. He said: “The crime information for London Underground, based on data from an FOI request to British Transport Police (BTP), was incorrectly reported, leading to criticism of TfL and the BTP in their efforts to keep the London Underground network safe and secure. Media stories based on incorrect information undermines Londoners’ confidence to use public transport, which remains a low crime environment and a safe way to travel.”

It has also been said that there has been a rise in the number of sexual offences recorded on London’s Tube network, according to BTP figures. The data, the BBC reports, recorded 909 sexual offences, not including rape, between December 1, 2022, and November 30, 2023. This was compared to 866 in the previous 12 months.

The mayor also highlighted that TfL has a ‘strong and successful partnership’ with the BTP to deliver safety and security for customers and colleagues on London Underground and TfL’s rail modes. He added that TfL monitors and reviews the BTP’s performance against shared policing plan priorities through eight-weekly strategic performance meetings and monthly tactical reviews.

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