Sexual assault victim launches campaign calling on Government to install CCTV on London Underground trains

Charles Hymas
A sex assault victim has criticised train bosses for failing to prevent attacks on Britain’s busiest train line - ANDY RAIN 

A 23-year-old woman sexually assaulted on a train to work, is today launching a campaign for all carriages to have CCTV. The communications executive was groped and assaulted on a packed commuter train on London's Central Line, as she travelled just after 8am on Tuesday, March 19.

She attempted to chase her attacker when she arrived at Liverpool Street station and to take a picture of him on her mobile phone, before reporting the incident to station staff and police.

The woman was shocked to be told that the Underground line is one of the few in the capital not to have CCTV on its carriages to provide police with film evidence to track down sex attackers

A petition she is launching on the Government’s official website, reads: “With no CCTV cameras in carriages on Central line trains, I am left without evidence against my perpetrator.

“To stop this from happening to anyone else who has, or ever will, travel on central line trains, I am campaigning for Transport for London to install CCTV to keep the public safe while they travel.

“This will both encourage more victims to report the crime with the knowledge that they have evidence, as well as hopefully, stop offenders from their predatory behaviour.”

The woman has also written to London Mayor Sadiq Khan demanding action.

With 100 million passenger journeys a year, the Central Line is the busiest and longest line in London but will not have CCTV fully installed on its 85 trains until 2023 - after work to retrofit carriages begins next year.

Yet, according to statistics published by Transport for London, there are 289 reports of sex offences, almost one a day on the line - 40 per cent more than the Victoria Line, double those on the Northern Line and six times more than the Bakerloo Line. 

Siwan Hayward, Director of Policing for Transport for London (TfL) said: “All our passengers have the right to travel without fear or intimidation and we’re working closely the police to eliminate unwanted sexual behaviour from London’s public transport.

“We know that for too long these crimes have gone unreported, but thanks to our Report It to Stop It campaign, the number of people reporting these disgusting crimes- with the confidence that action will be taken, is increasing.

“There is an extensive network of more than 77,000 CCTV cameras operating across London’s transport network, with 3,000 police and police community support officers dedicated to catching offenders.”

The BTP said: “Detectives are conducting a number of enquiries, including seizing any available CCTV evidence and collecting witness statements.”

In 2015, TfL launched its Report It To Stop It campaign, after research found that while 10 per cent of passengers experienced unwanted sexual behaviour on public transport in London, only one in 10 reported it.

Anyone who experiences or witnesses a crime on London Transport should text  61016 or call 101.