4 April 2016
RMT Press Office:
As union campaign forces shelving of plans to axe BTP tube sexual offences unit RMT demands proposals be scrapped completely.
After a union-led campaign to stop the axing of the specialist policing unit which investigates sexual offences on the Tube led to the plans being shelved at the weekend, main tube union RMT today demanded that they be scrapped entirely with more staff hired to stop the surge of sexual assaults on London’s transport services.
In a statement at the weekend, BTP said it had "unintentionally caused concern" by suggesting a new operating model, which meant all officers would investigate sexual offences.
BTP said it would now carry out an "urgent review" of its plans. – whilst that move is welcome RMT has said that there will be no let up and that the union will campaign for more staff, both BTP and directly employed by LU, on stations and platforms and a reversal of the current station staffing cuts.
The number of sex crimes reported on London transport rose by over a third last year. Figures released recently showed that between April and December 2015, police received 1,603 reports, compared with 1,117 complaints in the same period the year before and an internal risk assessment by Transport for London (TfL) has also suggested that the introduction of the Night Tube will lead to a rise in sexual offences on the Underground.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“While the shelving of plans to axe the specialist sexual offences unit is a welcome move it is not the end of the campaign and RMT is demanding that the proposals be scrapped completely and the planned station and platform staffing cuts be reversed. High visibility staffing across the tube network, working with the BTP, is crucial if we are to tackle the surge in sexual crimes on London Underground.
“RMT will continue to fight de-staffing and the moves to a faceless tube and rail network which gives a green light to the thugs, criminals and abusers.”