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TfL rolls out CCTV three years early after most sexual attacks take place on Central line

PUBLISHED: 17:08 06 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:08 06 September 2019

Transport police riding patrol on the Central line which doesn't have onboard CCTV. Picture: Mike Brooke

Transport police riding patrol on the Central line which doesn't have onboard CCTV. Picture: Mike Brooke

Mike Brooke

Central line CCTV will be installed three years ahead of schedule after the route had more reported sexual assaults than any other track.

Station monitor cameras on the Central line. Picture: Mike BrookeStation monitor cameras on the Central line. Picture: Mike Brooke

Transport for London confirmed that it is aware that "offenders target the Central line" and it is one of the reasons why there are "more plainclothes BTP officers operating on this line than any other".

It revealed it would be installing cameras from 2020 onwards as part of the planned train modification programme.

The CCTV would be one of several "tools" in the police's arsenal to investigate sexual offences including station CCTV, Oyster card data and witness statements.

The news comes after London Assembly yesterday called for CCTV to be installed on the Central line earlier than scheduled in 2023.

Assembly member Susan Hall... Assembly member Susan Hall... "One-in-four sexual assaults on the tube are on the Central line, yet perversely it doesn't have onboard CCTV." Picture: London Assembly

It said the red route had 100 reported offences between July 2016 and January 2018 which is nearly double that of the next most reported line, the Victoria line, at 55.

On (Thursday, September 5) Susan Hall AM, said all Londoners should feel able to safely travel around our city's Tube network without fearing that they could become a victim of any sort of crime, including sexual assault.

"A staggering one in four sexual assaults on the Tube take place on the Central line, yet perversely it is one of two lines which doesn't have onboard CCTV," she said.

A spokesman for the Mayor of London's office said both the mayor and TfL take tackling sexual assault on our transport network extremely seriously.

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"Central line trains will begin to have fully-operational CCTV from next year to help bring offenders to justice," he added

"There are 3,000 police and community support officers dedicated to policing London's transport network, and the Central line is the most heavily patrolled line on the network, including regular covert patrols with plain-clothed officers.

"Through major campaigns like 'Report it to stop it' TfL is putting an unprecedented focus on tackling unwanted sexual behaviour on London's public transport and is encouraging thousands of more victims to come forward and report offences - with more than 1,000 arrests being made since the campaign began."

Siwan Hayward, director of policing for TfL said for too long crimes have gone unreported, but as a result of the Report It to Stop It campaign, the number of people reporting "these disgusting crimes with the confidence that action will be taken, has increased".

"TfL and British Transport Police work tirelessly to combat unwanted sexual behaviour, with 3,000 police and police community support officers dedicated to catching offenders," she added.

"This activity includes running regular covert patrols on the Tube network with plain clothed officers, which have been successful in catching offenders and encouraging more people to report offences.

"More undercover patrols take place on the Central line than any other line and a programme of work is underway to install CCTV on the line as quickly as possible from 2020."

If you have been a victim of an attack on the Tube text the British Transport Police, what, where and when to 61016.

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