TSSA demands action after transport sexual harassment reports rocket

Image of a rail ticket with the word 'harassment' written on it.

Transport and travel union TSSA is demanding greater action following a huge increase in reports of sexual harassment across public transport networks.

Statistics from the British Transport Police (BTP) released yesterday (4 November) show that reports of sexual harassment on public transport have increased by 63% in summer 2021 compared to the same period two years earlier (pre-pandemic). BTP received 421 reports of harassment between April and October, up from 259 over the same period in 2019.

High profile cases of violence against women and girls – including the abduction and murder of Sarah Everard – are suggested to be partly behind the increase in reports of incidents of sexual harassment as women come forward to report crimes.

Commenting, TSSA Organising Director Lorraine Ward said: "These figures are shocking and should be a wake-up call to police and transport authorities across the country. Women in particular need to feel safe when using our public transport networks and these figures will be alarming to many.

“Transport staff need to be part of the solution to tackling all forms of crime on our transport networks. Staffing cuts at BTP and among station staff is counter-productive to safety and should be reversed.

“We’re calling on BTP, train operators and transport authorities – including Transport for London – to provide training and support for staff and to take action in real time to aid reporting and conviction rates.”

TSSA represents staff working at BTP and across rail and public transport operators.

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