Redbridge bus drivers attacked or verbally abused almost 200 times in last five years

Roger Evans

Roger Evans - Credit: Archant

Bus drivers in Redbridge were attacked or verbally abused 181 times in the past five years.

Figures from Transport for London (TfL) show 77 physical assaults and 104 cases of verbal abuse.

The data, obtained by the Recorder through a Freedom of Information (FoI) request, shows physical attacks have risen, with 15 recorded in 2010/11 compared to 20 in 2013/2014.

Incidents of verbal abuse have fluctuated but are still higher than in 2010/11.

In Havering, there were 122 incidents of physical and verbal abuse over the same five-year time period.

Conservative Roger Evans, chairman of the London Assembly and member for Havering and Redbridge, said: “These numbers look extremely high, particularly the numbers for Redbridge, although Redbridge is a busier borough so you would expect the numbers to be higher there.

“But when you look at what bus drivers have said to us, a lot of incidents don’t get reported - what we are seeing here is a bare minimum.”

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Mr Evans submitted his own FoI request earlier this year, which revealed an average of four bus drivers were physically or verbally attacked every day in London in the past three years.

He said: “What we are asking for is better policing on buses. We would like to see more undercover policing and more high-profile prosecutions to discourage people from being abusive to bus drivers.”

A spokesman for TfL said: “TfL and its policing partners are committed to ensuring the bus network remains a safe place for staff and passengers.

“We make significant investments in transport policing and community safety initiatives to ensure the bus network remains a safe, low-crime environment for passengers, staff and local communities.

“As a result, bus-related crime is now at a record low.”