TRAIN travellers have been urged to report any unwanted sexual behaviour during their journeys.
British Transport Police (BTP) has issued the message of encouragement with the help of a short film called Report it to stop it, that can be seen on YouTube, and follows a woman’s journey in which she experiences escalating incidents of unwanted sexual behaviour on board a train.
Viewers are encouraged to interact with the film by deciding at which point they would report the incident by texting 61016.
The purpose of the video, which is aimed at women aged between 16 and 35, is to tackle under-reporting by raising awareness that people can, and should, report all behaviour that makes them feel uncomfortable and that police will seek to take action.
All frontline staff working for BTP have undertaken additional training to raise awareness of what constitutes unwanted sexual behaviour, and the force has strengthened investigations of sexual offences, resulting in a rise in detection rates.
Richard Mann, Detective Superintendent of BTP, said: ‘Everyone has the right to travel on the transport network safely and we will not tolerate any unwanted sexual behaviour.
‘We want the travelling public to feel confident that we take every sexual incident seriously, no matter what has happened, and we believe what is reported to us.
‘By working with our partners we want people to feel encouraged to report unwanted sexual behaviour, and to know we will do everything we can to find those responsible.’
BTP describes unwanted sexual behaviour as anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, and passengers are encouraged to report anything of a sexual nature, including rubbing, groping, leering, sexual comments and indecent acts.
A spokesman for the force added: ‘You don’t have to prove that it was a criminal offence or intentional to report it, the police can investigate that for you.’
A Tumblr site has also been created to provide information to help break down the barriers that prevent reporting unwanted sexual behaviour.