Extremely depressing news: there's been an increase in sexual harassment on public transport.
Figures comparing reported incidents of harassment in April-June 2013 to April-June 2014 show an overall 30% increase. It's a fairly small base so the actual numbers are worth sharing:
- Bus: 114 incidents in 2013 — 128 incidents in 2014
- Tube and DLR: 82 incidents on 2013 — 121 incidents in 2014
- Overground: 6 incidents in 2013 — 10 incidents in 2014
- Tramlink: 0 incidents in 2013 — 3 incidents in 2014
With Project Guardian, which launched in July 2013, encouraging women to come forward to report sexual harassment to the British Transport Police, our first thought was that this reflected an increase in reporting. But apparently not: there's been a 6% fall in the number of people reporting sexual harassment on transport in the last year. So that's more reports from a smaller group of people — inference: the problem is getting worse.
Boris Johnson and Transport for London Commissioner Peter Hendy have told the London Assembly that a poster campaign is in development. Based on some of the descriptions of harassment in TfL's Safety and Security report, we'd like to suggest the following straplines for consideration:
- Is that your hand? Why is it on someone's else bum?
- Do they look uncomfortable? Then maybe stop commenting on their breasts.
- Stop staring. This is the tube. Eye contact is never acceptable.
- Don't wank yourself off on a bus, for god's sake, what is wrong with you?
- Put it away.