Railway safety and crime

30.04.18

BTP kicks off sexual assault reporting campaign across rail network

The British Transport Police (BTP) is launching a nationwide offensive to discreetly report unwanted sexual behavior on the rail network, no matter how small, in an effort to catch repeat offenders on the nation’s transport links.

‘Every Report Builds a Picture’ focuses on how multiple reports can help the BTP ‘build a picture’ of offenders, even if some of those cases do not reach a court case. People can discreetly text 61016, which is monitored by the transport police’s control room.

Inappropriate sexual behavior is seen as anything that makes a person feel uncomfortable: passengers can report anything of a sexual nature, including rubbing, groping, leering, sexual comments and indecent acts. Victims do not have to prove that it was a criminal offence or that it was committed intentionally, as BTP officers will investigate that.

During the week of action, which will start today, uniformed officers will step up patrols and advise commuters on how to report unwanted sexual behavior. Plain clothes officers will also be looking out for any potential offenders on the network.

Detective chief superintendent Paul Furnell said: “We want people to know that even if they think something is too small to be taken seriously by police, that is not the case. Often it allows us to notice a pattern of offending behaviour and we will take action.

“Each report we receive provides us with valuable information which we can use to build a picture of an offender. The sooner we receive a report, the better chance we have of catching the offender.

“Although normally an increase in reported crime is seen as negative, we welcome the increased reporting of sexual offences. This indicates an increased awareness that all types of unwanted sexual behaviour are unacceptable. More people have the confidence to report what has happened to them and know we will take them seriously.”

 

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