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Investigation launched into the rise of sexual offences on trains

PUBLISHED: 07:15 09 October 2015 | UPDATED: 11:36 09 October 2015

Train passing level crossing

Train passing level crossing

Archant

A victim of sexual assault who was “shaken” by an incident on a train is calling for more action in deterring sexual offences on public transport following TfL’s announcement of a 32per cent increase in London.

A total of 135 crimes have been committed at stations and on trains throughout the borough with almost a quarter being either a sexual or violent offence since September last year.

Victim Support, a charity which gives help to those who have been affected by crime, says even incidents that seem minor can have a “devastating” impact.

Clare Williamson, manager for Victim Support in East London, said: “We know from supporting thousands of victims of sexual crimes, it can be very difficult to come forward and report what’s happened, so it’s vital victims know that if they chose to report an assault, their case will be taken seriously.”

A 25-year-old woman who has spoken to the Recorder described what happened when a man sat next to her in an empty carriage on the a train to Ilford in 2013.

She said: “I just ignored him and carried on reading my paper when his hand touched my leg.

“I jumped but assumed it was just an accident but a few seconds later he grabbed my thigh.

“I was really shaken but couldn’t quite process what happened and kept replaying it in my head trying to look for a way it could be an innocent mistake.

“Offenders need to be prosecuted and given sentences so that will send the message that it will not be tolerated.”

The London Assembly Police and Crime Committee launched an investigation into crime on public transport yesterday (Thurs) with a focus on the rise of sexual offences.

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