Survey Suggests LGBT People Feel Unsafe on Public Transport
Research by several organisations across London has found that LGBT people fear for their safety on public transport including the tube and that there is a higher incident of assault both verbal and physical on public transport than there is in other public areas.
The Metropolitan police carried out a survey called ‘Women, Transphobia and Homophobia.’ The results showed that nearly half of respondents felt unsafe using public transport. Galop (Gay London Policing Project) research shows that just over half of incidents such as verbal or physical assault occur in public areas such as London Underground and public transport networks. In Westminster, the survey ‘Mapping LGBT Westminster’ shows that 40% of LGBT people who responded avoided using public transport because of fear of or actual assault, and in Lewisham nearly one in 8 respondents avoided public transport according to “The Full Report of Lambeth LGBT Matters.”
The British Transport Police ‘London Underground/DLR Plan’ for 2010’ states ‘For passengers, feeling safe is as important as being safe. The visible presence of rail staff, PCSOs and police officers can reduce the fear of crime dramatically.’ The RMT has also shared its view that a reduction in staff will turn the underground into a muggers paradise.
RMTs fight to save staff numbers is not just to the benefit of the staff at risk of loosing their jobs, but to the benefit of the wider public whose fear of crime will increase - especially for those in minority communities such as LGBT people.