Seven reports of unwanted sexual behaviour at stations in Cheshire West have been made over the last two years, figures have revealed.
British Transport Police (BTP) received three reports of exposure, three reports that the suspect has committed an act outraging public decency and one sex assault on a female aged 13 or over in 2014 and 2015, according to information released to the Chronicle following a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
But the force insist trains and stations across the county are a ‘low crime environment’ despite increasing passenger numbers and that crime overall on railways has fallen for the 11th year running.
A BTP spokesman told the Chronicle: “We are determined to tackle all forms of unwanted sexual behaviour and ensure the rail network remains a safe environment.
“Given the size of the network, these figures remain relatively low, although any sexual offence is too many and can be devastating for the victim.
“The chances of becoming a victim of crime at a station or on a train in Cheshire remain extremely low.
“We actively encourage the public to report any incidents of unwanted sexual behaviour to us and are pleased that more people are doing so.”
Of the seven alleged victims, five were female and two were male.
BTP launched Report it to Stop it – a campaign to encourage the reporting of sexual offences on public transport – last year.
“We encourage people to report any form of behaviour that makes them feel uncomfortable – that could be rubbing, leering, sexual comments, indecent acts or more serious sexual assault,” added the spokesman.
Every report is taken seriously
“With the campaign in place, we fully expected to record a rise in sexual offences and, though it is clearly a concern that so many people are affected by this type of crime, it is pleasing that previously reluctant victims of sexual offences now have the confidence to report this to us.
“We take every report of unwanted sexual behaviour seriously and our specially trained officers work hard to find those responsible, by speaking with witnesses and reviewing the extensive CCTV available to us on the rail network.”
For more info about our Report it to Stop it campaign, click here.