London Underground: Tube crime soars by more than 50% fuelled by surge in thefts and robberies

London Underground: Tube crime soars by more than 50% fuelled by surge in thefts and robberies

Tube crime has soared 56 per cent, fuelled by a massive increase in thefts and robberies, shocking figures revealed on Wednesday.

Latest data from Transport for London showed 10,836 offences were reported between April and September this year, compared with 6,294 over the same period last year.

This includes an 83 per cent increase in thefts, including pickpocketing, to 5,378 offences, and a 107 per cent increase in robberies, from 164 to 340 offences.

Across all Transport for London services, including the bus network, the London Overground and the Elizabeth line, reported crime increased by 30 per cent, from 17,160 to 22,294 offences.

This is on top of a 45 per cent increase in crime in 2022/23, which was in part due to the post-pandemic return of passengers.

Susan Hall, the Tory mayoral candidate, who believes she was pickpocketed on the Tube on Monday, said: “"Sadiq Khan is responsible for TfL and keeping Londoners safe, but his weak leadership has let crime skyrocket.

"We need change, because Londoners deserve better. As Mayor, I'll invest £200 million into policing, get CCTV up and running across the Tube, and make sure commuters feel safe once again in our city.”

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT union, said: “These soaring crime rates come as no surprise to Tube workers that are on the frontline every day in this increasingly hostile environment.

“RMT has been warning for many years that, instead of an agenda of austerity and constant cutbacks, we need decent staffing levels and investment to ensure a safe and secure transport network for London.”

Sarah Olney, the Lib-Dem MP for Richmond Park, said: “Londoners should be able to feel safe on their public transport, yet these shocking figures tell a different story.

"This Conservative Government and the Mayor of London need to end their endless bickering, get around the table, and come up with a strategy to tackle this surge in crime.”

The figures show that crime levels on the Tube are outpacing passenger numbers – and running well ahead of wider increases in crime. Londonwide, criminal offences are up eight per cent.

Crime on the Northern line more than doubled to 1,733 offences, making it the worst-affected line, followed by the Jubilee line, where there were 1,694 offences, almost double the same period last year.

The crime rate has increased from 13.7 offences per million Underground journeys to 18.6 – at a time when the number of Tube passengers fell 11 per cent.

King’s Cross St Pancras, Leicester Square and Oxford Circus were the worst stations for theft. Stratford was the worst for robberies. Robberies were more likely to be committed at a station than on a train.

Almost two-thirds of the year-on-year increase in crime were thefts. Hate crime on the Tube increased from 422 to 553 incidents.

One of the worst violent attacks on the Tube was suffered by a London Underground member of staff.

The worker, 61, was on duty at Harrow on the Hill station late at night in May when he was punched and knocked unconscious in an unprovoked assault on the platform. He fell and suffered a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.

The incident prompted huge concern at the top of Transport for London, with TfL commissioner Andy Lord issuing a plea for witnesses to come forward.

A 22-year-old man was subsequently charged with causing grievous bodily harm.

TfL’s crime report revealed there had been a 50 per cent increase in violence and aggression against Tube staff, up from 431 incidents between April and September last year to 647 incidents in the same period this year.

The Elizabeth line saw an 84 per cent increase to 907 crimes, though this was in line with an 87 per cent increase in passengers.

A passenger survey conducted by TfL found that 32 per cent of respondents – across all services – had felt worried about their personal security in the last three months.

Seven per cent said they had been completely or temporarily deterred from using public transport.

Bus crime rose by six per cent, from 8,449 incidents to 8,980. There were more than 4,000 thefts and 2,000 reports of violence between April and September.

However the chance of being a victim of crime remained small – there were 9.7 crimes for every million bus journeys.

Siwan Hayward, TfL’s director of security, policing and enforcement, said passenger safety was the “top priority” She said: “We have hundreds of police officers and our own enforcement staff patrolling the network at all times of the day.

“We have also been actively promoting the importance of reporting crime, especially crimes that are underreported such as hate crime, sexual offences and harassment and workplace violence and aggression.

“Crime on the TfL network largely reflects national crime trends rising from the lower volumes recorded during the pandemic.”