Tube workers battle for jobs as thefts and bad behaviour soars
CUTS to staffing on London’s Tube network should be “halted and reversed,” rail unions said yesterday as new figures revealed a significant increase in serious crimes.
Official statistics showed there were 1,387 reported incidents of theft on London Underground in the second quarter of 2017-18, compared to 1,126 in the same period of the previous year.
Serious public order incidents shot up from 233 to 768 over the same periods — a staggering 230 per cent increase.
But Tube bosses claimed that allowing for changes to how crimes are recorded would put the figure more accurately at 34 per cent.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “These are truly shocking figures. RMT has warned for years that cuts to staff would turn London Underground into a thugs’ and criminals’ paradise and our warnings have now come home to roost with a vengeance.
“Rather than TfL [Transport for London] planning for a further 1,400 job cuts in the next tranche of planned reductions, passengers need more staff acting as a deterrent and to be on hand to help co-ordinate our response to crime on London’s transport network. The job cuts on London Underground must be halted and reversed.”
Unions fear cuts stemming from the axing of the Tube’s government subsidy will endanger travellers and staff. The network has already closed all of its booking offices and passengers are now expected to buy tickets from machines.
TfL policing head Siwan Hayward said: “London’s transport network is a safe, low-crime environment. The crime rate has been halved since 2005-06 and very few of the 15 million customers who travel on our services will experience or witness a crime.
“We have seen an increase in crime in the second quarter of 2017-2018, similar to other parts of the country, and are working with the police to address this.
“Some of the rise is a direct result of our work to encourage anyone who experience unwanted sexual behaviour to report it so that we can bring the perpetrators to justice.”