Transport for London has relaunched "Project Guardian", encouraging people to report unwanted sexual behaviour on public transport via text or phone. 90% of these crimes go unreported.
It's good that TfL is encouraging people to report crimes and giving them more ways of doing so, but is this being done because of the massive safety issue which will be caused by cutting hundreds of workers?
Members of staff on a station could potentially stop crimes like this happening, and even if they're unable to prevent it, can help victims deal with the aftermath and liaise with the emergency services.
Nearly 900 frontline Tube jobs are set to be cut in 2016. Will a text message reporting service make up for that deficit? No.
If TfL, LUL and Tory mayor Boris Johnson want to reduce sexual assaults, violent crimes, and other antisocial behaviour and crimes on the tube, they must stop these cuts of front line staff and employ more workers, not fewer.
Another Tubeworker supporter writes:
There's a rather nasty implication to TfL's emphasis on the victim's responsibility to report sexual assaults and other harassment. Not only does it ignore the context of staff cuts, which make public transport less safe, it subtly shifts the blame onto the victim, by suggesting that under-reporting is a reason for the crimes happening.
It's part of a wider trend of "victim-blaming", where the victims of sexual assaults (who are overwhelmingly women) are held responsible for what's happened to them, either because they were "too drunk", dressed "provocatively", or, in this case, because they failed to report it (so while they might not be directly responsible for their own victimhood, they're somehow contributing to other attacks taking place).
Victims of assault should, of course, be encouraged to report it, and supported in doing so by all relevant authorities, as well as their friends, colleagues, etc. But campaigns like this don't provide that support.