Politics

Sex assaults hit 10-year high on Scotland’s trains

Sexual attacks reported by way of girls on Scotland’s railways have hit a decade top, prompting requires pressing motion.

Officers gained 46 experiences of ladies being sexually assaulted whilst travelling on trains ultimate 12 months, which is the easiest overall since 2012.

The British Transport Police figures additionally display 301 girls reported being threatened, careworn or frequently assaulted ultimate 12 months, 2nd simplest to 2019 when there have been 325.

The statistics from 2020 relate to the peak of the coronavirus lockdown when considerably much less passengers have been the use of the community.

However, the selection of sexual offences reported towards feminine sufferers in 2021 continues to be the easiest overall from the to be had knowledge within the ultimate 10 years.

As neatly as on board trains, the reported crimes came about at stations and surrounding spaces.

North-east MSP Tess White says the “sickening” figures display “women are being completely let down by the system which isn’t doing enough to protect them”.

In February, the Scottish Government introduced it could release a session on girls’s protection on public delivery.

SNP Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth mentioned harassment of ladies is a “systemic problem” and one who she has in my view confronted on public delivery.

‘Women are at risk’

Ms White is now calling for devoted consciousness and data campaigns in trains, on platforms and in stations.

This would tell passengers of a telephone quantity or utility to make use of to document harassment.

Tess White MSP.
Tess White MSP.

The Conservative MSP mentioned: “Women must be capable to put on what they would like with out the specter of sexual harassment and violence and shouldn’t have to place headphones on in worry of the tide of abuse that may be aimed toward them.

“But it’s no longer simply on board trains that girls are in peril, it’s the wait on the platform or the stroll house from the station the place we need to grab onto our keys and cell phone for protection.

“Across the north-east and the remainder of the rustic, girls are rightly asking ‘what will it take’ for the established order to modify.

“This is why it’s vital the Scottish Government addresses these horrendous attacks which are occurring daily in different places across our public transport networks.”

The figures additionally display a upward thrust within the selection of male sufferers of sexual offences from two in 2020 to twelve in 2021.

But the selection of girls reporting those form of attacks used to be virtually 4 occasions upper in the similar period of time at 46.

‘Deeply concerning’

A spokeswoman for presidency company Transport Scotland described the figures as “deeply concerning”.

She added: “Women and ladies must be capable to be expecting to shuttle on public delivery with out worry of being sexually assaulted, abused or harmed.

“That is why the delivery minister has made making shuttle more secure for girls a concern and can interact in a while with girls, ladies and related stakeholder organisations to talk about their studies of the use of and having access to public delivery.

“This is the first step in a wider initiative on women’s safety that we hope will address some of the appalling behaviour towards and treatment of female passengers and staff.”

ScotRail has one of the most greatest CCTV networks in the United Kingdom, with greater than 6,000 cameras tracking greater than 350 stations.

There could also be a lend a hand level at each and every station aside from Dunrobin Castle which is hooked up to customer support centres at Dunfermline and Paisley.

SNP Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth.
SNP Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth.

Stephen Elliot, ScotRail safety and crime supervisor, mentioned: “ScotRail works very carefully with British Transport Police to be sure that Scotland’s Railway is a secure setting for our shoppers, and our personal other folks.

BTP figures display that reported notifiable crimes in Scotland, together with sexual offenses, are a number of the lowest in the United Kingdom.

“We will continue to work closely with the British Transport Police to clamp down on unacceptable behaviour and prosecute offenders.”

‘We will take you seriously’

BTP Detective Superintendent Sarah White mentioned tackling sexual harassment and sexual offences is their “top priority”.

She added: “We inspire any individual to document any type of sexual harassment to BTP by way of texting us on 61016.

“Whether one thing is occurring to you on the time or has took place to you lately, no document is just too small or trivial and we can at all times take you significantly.

“Each document we obtain supplies us with treasured knowledge which we will use to construct an image of an wrongdoer.

“Often it allows us to notice a pattern of offending behaviour and we will take action.”

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[Sex assaults hit 10-year high on Scotland’s trains]

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