What's behind London's surge in crime on the tube? - The Standard podcast

File photo of a London Underground sign against the night sky (Yui Mok/PA). (PA Archive)
File photo of a London Underground sign against the night sky (Yui Mok/PA). (PA Archive)

Crime is up on London’s transport network by 30% in the last six months alone, according to data from Transport for London.

TfL’s figures show there’s been a 56% spike in crime on the tube, including 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.

The latest figures show that crime levels on the underground are now outpacing passenger numbers.

It appears to be an ongoing trend; figures back in June showed pickpocketing thefts on the London Underground had more than doubled in one year.

One of the worst violent attacks on the Tube was suffered by a member of staff in May 2023.

The 61-year-old was on duty at Harrow on the Hill station late at night, 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.

In this episode of The Standard, our City Hall & Transport Editor Ross Lydall explains TfL’s figures, and considers what factors might be behind the rise in crime.

Ross also explains why Tory mayoral candidate Susan Hall was ‘bang on target’ with her tube thefts warning, and reveals the worst underground lines for crime.

Listen above, find us on Apple, Spotify or wherever you stream your podcasts.