Data from the British Transport Police shows that violent crime on the London Underground system has soared by over 43% in the last three years.
There were 2,838 incidents of violence on the tube reported between November 2017 and September 2018, compared with 1,980 for the same period a year earlier. The highest number of offences at any single station was 1,339 in three years at King's Cross St Pancras, possibly because of spiralling rage at people stopping at the bottom of the escalator to pull the handle out of their wheely suitcase.
The numbers show that crimes in general (not just violence) have gone up by a quarter across the tube network in that time period, and offences involving weapons have more than doubled.
This isn't a reason to panic and avoid the tube, though. For starters, there are 3,000 British Transport Police and Met Police officers across the network to keep you safe. It's also important to take the figures in the context of the enormous number of people who travel safely on the tube every day. Finally, it might just be that more people have the confidence to report incidents now, rather than an actual increase in crimes.
BTP Assistant Chief Constable Robin Smith comments:
"London has one of the busiest transport networks in the world and the chances of being a victim of crime remains incredibly low, with less than 10 crimes recorded for every million passenger journeys made.
In the last year crime involving a weapon has increased, however it is important to bear in mind that these figures also include the many knives seized in our targeted, intelligence-led operations against knife crime, for instance Operation Engulf which has been running successfully for a year now."
Nonetheless, don't stop at the bottom of escalators to mess with your suitcase, just in case. Don't want to get punched in the back of the head, do you? [BBC]