London

London Tube violent crime rises by 43% in three years

Passenger on the Tube Image copyright PA
Image caption The figures show King's Cross St Pancras was the station with the highest number of offences

Violent crime on London's Tube network has increased by more than 43% in the last three years, figures have shown.

British Transport Police data showed there were 1,980 reported incidents between November 2015 and October 2016, compared with 2,838 between November 2017 and September last year.

King's Cross St Pancras had the highest number of recorded offences.

British Transport Police (BTP) said the chance of being a victims of crime on Tube was "relatively low".

The figures, which were released following a request from the Greater London Authority Conservatives, go up to September last year because data for October was not available.

They show a 25% increase in total criminal offences recorded on the entire network over the same time period, with 10,450 in 2015-16 compared with 13,101 in 2017-18.

Weapons offences more than doubled from 42 to 95, while sexual offences increased from 925 to 1,047.

King's Cross St Pancras station, one of the busiest stations on the network with several lines passing through it, was found to have the highest amount of crime with 1,339 incidents over the three-year period.

Oxford Circus, Stratford, Victoria and Green Park were the stations with the next highest number of recorded offences.

Where offences occurred on trains, the service's final destination was recorded as the location of the crime.

BTP Assistant Chief Constable Robin Smith said: "London has one of the busiest transport networks in the world and the chances of being a victim of crime remains incredibly low, with less than 10 crimes recorded for every million passenger journeys made.

"In the last year crime involving a weapon has increased, however it is important to bear in mind that these figures also include the many knives seized in our targeted, intelligence-led operations against knife crime, for instance Operation Engulf which has been running successfully for a year now."

There is a 3,000-strong group of BTP and Metropolitan Police officers working across London's transport network.

A spokesman for the mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the Met Police needed more money and he has called for the government to reverse cuts made to the force's budget.

Conservative London Assembly Member Susan Hall called on the mayor to cut the "millions he is spending on City Hall waste" in order to provide "more officers on London's streets".

"These statistics should spur the mayor into dropping his complacent attitude towards surging crime rates and finally take control of the situation," she said.

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