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London Underground (Crime)

Volume 181: debated on Monday 26 November 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will provide the figures for the number of violent crimes committed on the London underground for the years 1989 and 1990; and if he will list the initiatives that have been taken by London Underground to reduce the incidence of violent crime.

I understand from the British Transport Police that in 1989 there were 1,755 crimes of violence on the London underground. During that time some 765 million passenger journeys were made. In the 10 months to 31 October 1990, the number of crimes of violence was 1,137. This represents a 22 per cent. reduction compared with the same period for 1989 and continues the downward trend for such crimes. Crimes of violence have been defined as robbery and assaults on passengers, staff and police.A programme of passenger security measures has been introduced at thirteen pilot scheme stations on the Northern line, Central line and at Oxford Circus to assess the effectiveness of various anti-crime measures at different types of station. These involve:

  • —trained staff with personal radios
  • —help-point booths
  • —passenger help-point alarm panels
  • —closed circuit television and video monitoring
  • —supervised safe waiting areas
  • —mirrors and improved lighting

Similiar measures will be implemented in 1991 at stations between Hammersmith and Paddington on the Hammersmith and City line. London Underground is also planning to extend these measures to other stations throughout the network. In addition a new communication network is being provided at 123 stations which will enable the police to use radios underground. The complement of the British Transport Police's (BTP) London Underground division has been increased to 400 and area police stations established. These enhancements enable the BTP to mount increased numbers of patrols which, together with the new culture of co-operation between staff and the BTP, will improve the effectiveness of community policing on the Underground.