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‘Report it to stop it’: New campaign to eliminate unwanted sexual behaviour on public transport

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Report it to stop it – Copyright TfL 2015

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· Policing partners and Transport for London launch the next stage of Project Guardian to tackle under-reporting of sexual offences on public transport

· ‘Report it to stop it’ campaign launches 13 April


Today, the British Transport Police (BTP), Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), City of London Police (CoLP) and Transport for London (TfL) launch a joint campaign to encourage passengers to report any unwanted sexual behaviour on the transport network.

Project Guardian is a joint initiative to eliminate unwanted sexual behaviour on public transport in London. It was set up, operationally, in July 2013 following a TfL safety and security survey, which revealed that while 1 in 10 Londoners experience unwanted sexual behaviour on public transport, over 90 per cent did not report it to the police. ‘Report it to stop it’ aims to tackle under-reporting by raising awareness that people can and should report all behaviour that makes them feel uncomfortable and that the police will take action as a result.

The campaign uses a short film, promoted through Video on Demand channels such as All4, Now TV and YouTube, primarily aimed at women aged between 16 and 35. The film follows a woman’s journey in which she experiences escalating incidents of unwanted sexual behaviour on the Tube. Viewers are encouraged to interact with the film by deciding at which point they would 'Report it to stop it' by texting 61016.

All front line staff working for the BTP, MPS, CoLP and TfL have undertaken additional training to raise awareness of unwanted sexual behaviour. The police have strengthened their investigations of sexual offences and detection rates are on the rise. 2400 incidents of sexual harassment have been reported to the police since Project Guardian launched, an increase of 25 per cent compared with the similar period before the project launched.

For the last two years, targeted weeks of action have also been carried out, where hundreds of uniformed officers stepped up patrols and advised commuters on how to report unwanted sexual behaviour. Further days of engagement and action will be carried out in the coming weeks and months to support the ‘Report it to stop it’ campaign, with officers handing out leaflets and giving specific advice to commuters and tourists.

Mark Newton, Assistant Chief Constable of British Transport Police, said: “Everyone has the right to travel on the transport network safely and we will not tolerate any unwanted sexual behaviour. We want the travelling public to feel confident that we take every sexual incident seriously no matter what has happened and we believe what is reported to us. By working with our partners we want people to feel encouraged to report unwanted sexual behaviour, and we will do everything we can to find those responsible.”

Chief Inspector Colin Carswell, Roads and Transport Policing Command MPS said: "The introduction of this new campaign will help us build upon the success that the Project Guardian partnership has achieved so far. It is vital that victims feel confident enough to report anything which has made them feel uncomfortable and be reassured that their allegation will be dealt with seriously.

"Committing offences of unwanted sexual behaviour on the transport network is wholly unacceptable and we will continue to work together with our policing colleagues and partners to catch offenders and bring them to justice."

DI Anna Rice of the Public Protection Unit said: "The City of London Police fully supports Report it to stop it and urges victims to come forward in confidence. Unwanted sexual behaviour is not acceptable and we will take every report seriously.”

Siwan Hayward, TfL’s Deputy Director of Enforcement and On-Street Operations, said: “We care about our passengers and the journeys that they make. We do not tolerate any unwanted sexual behaviour on our network and, working closely with our policing partners, we are all determined to eliminate sexual harassment from public transport. Through this communications campaign we want to reassure the public that all reports are taken seriously. By reporting unwanted sexual behaviour you can help to stop it."

A Tumblr site has also been created to provide information to help break down the barriers that prevent reporting unwanted sexual behaviour. The site will ensure there is one location for all the information people need and actions they can take to report.

· Link to Tumblr site, ‘Report it to stop it’: http://report-it.tumblr.com

Unwanted sexual behaviour is anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. You can report anything of a sexual nature, including rubbing, groping, masturbation, leering, sexual comments, indecent acts, or someone taking photos of you without your consent. You don’t have to prove that it was a criminal offence or intentional to report it, the police can investigate that for you.




For more information contact:


Chandni Tanna
British Transport Police
0300 123 9104
chandni.tanna@btp.pnn.police.uk

Lucy Jones
British Transport Police - National Pressdesk
0300 123 9104
lucy.jones@btp.pnn.police.uk


For the latest news, updates and insight, follow BTP on Twitter: @btp_uk.

British Transport Police is the specialist, national police service for Britain’s railways. BTP deals with major and minor crime, disorder and incidents, and covers the rail system in England, Wales and Scotland, including London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, the Glasgow Subway and the Midland Metro and Croydon Tramlink systems. Its 2,880 police officers, 376 Police Community Support Officers, 251 Special Constables and 1,451 support staff are recruited and trained like those of local forces and have the same powers. Find out more at www.btp.police.uk

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