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London Underground

Volume 128: debated on Thursday 25 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what support the Government are giving to efforts to fight crime on the London Underground.

Following my Department's report, "Crime on the Underground", we have made available £15 million to London Underground Ltd. over three years to implement a range of measures to improve the security of passengers on the Underground. These measures, which will be implemented progressively, include equipping 42 deep-level stations with facilities to provide reliable underground radio communications; pilot schemes at a number of stations involving staffed focal points; safe waiting areas; and passenger alarms with talk-back facilities. If successful, these measures will be extended to other parts of the network. The British Transport police are considering ways of extending the application of new policing methods which brought a reduction of more than 25 per cent. in robberies last year at the southern end of the Northern and Victoria lines.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what types of radio equipment are currently available for British Transport police officers engaged on duties within the London Underground system.

The British Transport police use standard police personal radios in the VHF band. Following a recommendation in my Department's report, "Crime on the London Underground," London Underground Ltd. is at present installing leaky feeder cables at 42 key deep level stations which will enable the BTP to have instant radio contact underground with their control centre.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many police officers have been deployed on regular duties on the London Underground in each of the past five years; and what is the number currently in service.

The average number of British Transport police officers deployed on regular duties on the London Underground in each of the last five years is as follows:

YearNumber
1983278
1984262
1985269
1986304
1987319
The complement of the Underground division of the British Transport police has been increased to 350 officers; the number so far in post is 314.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many arrests have taken place on the London Underground system on each of the past five years.

The British Transport police do not record the number of arrests on the London Underground. The number of of prosecutions for offences on the Underground in each of the last five years is as follows:

YearIndictableNon-indictable
19831,4178,969
19841,1136,441
19851,2076,162
19861,3974,651
19871,3652,687
The decrease in prosecutions for non-indictable offences reflects a reduction in the problem of ticket fraud with the introduction of travelcards and changes in London Underground's ticketing and inspection procedures.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many fatalities arising from people falling under trains have occurred on the London Underground system in each of the past five years.

The table shows the fatalities on all lines of London Underground Ltd. during the last four years resulting from persons falling under trains. Figures for 1983 are not readily available.

1984198519861987
Trespassers19191520
Suicides22243327
Others:
Falling off platforms1431
Attempting to board as train departed1
Totals42485148

Note. In all cases listed as falling off platforms drugs, drink or illness was a main factor.