The worst London boroughs for bus crime


Crime is on the rise.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there has been a 13% increase in the number of police-recorded offences across England and Wales, and there has been an even greater rise in the number of violent offences, including knife crime, sexual offences and violence against the person.

As a result, sought to find out whether the ‘rise in crime’ seen across England and Wales was prevalent on London transport, and most specifically, the infamous red London buses. Utilising data from Transport for London (TfL), from the period of January 1st to June 30th 2017, Locksmith homed in on 6 of the main crimes labelled by Transport for London. The crimes included in this were: criminal damage, robbery, sexual offences, thief and handling, violence against a person, and ‘other notifiable offences’.

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Locksmith Service wanted to investigate whether there was a similar trend among crime on buses within 32 London boroughs, excluding the City of London where data was unavailable.
Looking through the data, it became apparent that between January and June this year, the number crimes committed on London buses were notably less, compared to last year. The most recent data published by TfL shows that the total number of crimes committed between January and June this year is 7,957 – a 6.9% decrease from the 8,545 crimes committed in the same period between January and June in 2016.

What boroughs are the worst?

Locksmith sought to pinpoint where the most bus-related crimes are taking place in London. Analysing the data carefully, Locksmith found that the top 10 boroughs for the most crime committed this year is:

  1. Westminster (557)
  2. Hackney (513)
  3. Camden (461)
  4. Haringey (459)
  5. Lambeth (455)
  6. Islington (453)
  7. Southwark (412)
  8. Newham (330)
  9. Lewisham (272)
  10. Croydon (266)

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The 2016 crime rates for the top 10 London boroughs, from January 1st to June 30th, were as following:

  1. Westminster (632)
  2. Lambeth (502)
  3. Hackney (447)
  4. Haringey (437)
  5. Southwark (420)
  6. Islington (410)
  7. Newham (359)
  8. Ealing (334)
  9. Lewisham (333)
  10. Camden (327)

For the most part, there was little change from 2016, with most London boroughs having similar bus-related crime levels. However, Camden saw the largest jump, from 10th in 2016 to 3rd place this year.

What is the most committed crime? wanted to find out what the most committed crime is among the infamous red London buses, taking into account all bus-related crimes from the 32 London boroughs. The results show that theft and handling has the highest total, with a staggering 3,334 crimes noted by TfL between January and June this year – down 9.5%.

This was followed by:

  • Violence against the person (3,034) – down 4.5%
  • Criminal damage (514) – down 12.4%
  • Robbery (492) – down 1.4%
  • Sexual offences (423) – up 9.6%
  • Other notifiable offences (160) – down 23.8%

Most crimes decreased, however the number of sexual offences increased by 9.6%. This rise could be due to an increase in people reporting sexual offences due to a change in social attitudes, creating a drastic transformation in statistics.

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The London Underground

In addition to bus crime, Locksmithservice wanted to find out whether there was a similar trend among on the the Docklands Light Railway and London Underground – one of the most famous transport networks in the world.

Locksmithservice homed in on 11 of the ‘major crimes’, as named by the British Transport Police. The 11 categories of crime investigated were:

  • Violence against the person (VAP) and serious public order
  • Sexual offences
  • Criminal damage
  • Line of route
  • Theft of passenger property
  • Motor vehicle/cycle offences
  • Robbery
  • Theft of railway property/burglary
  • Serious fraud
  • Drugs
  • Other serious offences

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Over the last three years, the number of major crime offences that have been committed have been growing significantly. Looking at the data published by TfL, Locksmithservice found that the crime rate on the London Underground and Docklands Light Railway service has increased year on year. Last year (2016/17), there were 7.6 crimes for every million passenger journeys made on the London Underground and the Docklands Light Railway.

The crime statistics for the London Underground and Docklands Light Railway over the last three years were as follows:

  • 2014-15: 9,599
  • 2015-16: 10,719 (up 11.7%)
  • 2016-17: 11,362 (up 6%)

So far, this year, TfL has published data regarding crime rates on the London Underground and Docklands Light Railway, from the period January 1st to June 30th. In the months mentioned, a staggering 6,191 crimes were committed. It is reasonable to suggest that the number will continue to rise and break another crime record this year.

The popularity of crimes, ranked from most to least committed:

  1. VAP and serious public order: 2,392
  2. Theft of Passenger Property: 2,085
  3. Sexual offences: 526
  4. Criminal damage: 516
  5. Motor vehicle/cycle offences: 222
  6. Theft of railway property/burglary: 125
  7. Drugs: 86
  8. Line of route: 77
  9. Robbery: 66
  10. Serious fraud: 56
  11. Other serious offences: 40

Photo credit: Lenar Nigmatullin/Shutterstock

Managing director of Locksmith Service, Victor Baron, commented:

“Public transport is used by innocent people going about their daily lives. Despite the fact that crime has decreased compared to this time last year, it is worrying to think that people are falling victim, or becoming a witness, to crimes.”

He added: “It is vital that everyone must report crimes that have happened to help prevent these crimes from happening on our beloved public transport system. Criminals must be stopped to make our city a safe place for everyone – commuters, residents and tourists.”

What to do if you become a victim of bus-related crime?

If you have been a victim of a crime on the transport system, or experienced antisocial behaviour, you should report it to the police.

To report a crime on the transport network, you can either:

  • If it’s an emergency, call the police on 999
  • If it’s not urgent, call the police on 101
  • You can report crimes online – such as theft, criminal damage and hate crime
  • Visit a police station near to the incident

You can also visit the British Transport Police website to find out ways to report a crime.

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