Bus crime in the East End is on the up

Crime on buses in Tower Hamlets has risen in the past year - despite falling in London as a whole.

The latest figures for 2010/11 show a 12 per increase compared to the previous twelve months for offences including violence, sexual assault, theft and criminal damage.

Theft accounted for more than 60 per cent of crime committed on East End buses.

The rise was the second largest of all 32 London boroughs, only behind Barking and Dagenham which saw an 18 per cent increase on bus offences.

Tower Hamlets is part of a third of boroughs to have experienced a rise in the last twelve months.

London as a whole recorded a four per cent drop.

London Assembly Liberal Democrat leader, Caroline Pidgeon said there should be “no grounds for complacency” and is calling on mayor Boris Johnson to do more to beat bus crime in the worst affected parts of the capital.

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She said: “It is simply wrong to suggest that bus crime is falling across the whole of London. Bus crime is a problem everywhere and in far too many places it is a growing problem.”

The Met’s Safer Transport Command, which deals with crime on buses, insisted it is “not complacent” and said it has measures to tackle the issues in the East End - especially theft.

A spokesperson said: “Despite the increase, levels of bus related crime in the borough remain low – there are just over two crimes a day across the whole borough despite the thousands of journeys made on the bus network in Tower Hamlets.”

It said its Safer Transport Teams (STT), which monitors and responds to patterns of transport-related crime, go on high visibility patrols on the buses, carry out operations and give passengers crime-prevention advice.

The British Transport Police, who deal with crime on the Underground and DLR, do not record individual borough results but have seen a fall in incidents over the last twelve months in London as a whole.

Public disorder crimes on the Tube and DLR are down by 11 per cent and vandalism has reduced by a fifth.

Robberies are up by almost a fifth though.