INTERNATIONAL THIEVES ON THE public transport NETWORK IN LONDON.
1. INTRODUCTION——————————————————PP 3
2. CITY OF LONDON POPULATION——————————-PP 4
3. USERS OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT——————————PP 5
4. THEORIES————————————————————-PP 6
5. CRIME STATISTICS————————————————PP 7-12
6. INTERNATIONAL CONNECTION——————————-PP 12
7. RESPONSE TO THE PROBLEM——————————–PP 14
8. PROBLEMS FACED————————————————PP 17
9. CONCLUSION——————————————————–PP 17
10. REFERENCES——————————————————-PP 19
The most effective way of tackling and preventing crime is to have a comprehensive understanding of what the problem is, including the extent and impact it has on geography, products, services and people. This information is always obtained through research.
Offences may be reduced by both targeted police activity following effective intelligence based deployments and also by detecting offences that have been committed and successfully prosecuting offenders.
The basis of policing the wider transport system reflects the strategic community safety priorities identified in the Transport for London “Community Safety Plan 2008-09” which are:
1. Improve perception of safety and security on the transport system
2. Reduce anti-social behaviour on the transport system
3. Reduce crime on the transport system by focusing on priority crime
4. Reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in collisions resulting from criminal or anti-social behaviour
Priority crimes on the public transport network in London mentioned in section (3) above include:
• Violent Crime
• Hate Crime
• Theft of Passenger Property
• Staff Assaults
• Offensive Weapons
• Route Crime
• Economic Crime
• Anti-social Behaviour
London Transport system: refers to all means of travelling around London that Transport for London has some responsibility for, of significant influence over, including the Underground, bus network, London Over-ground, Docklands Light Railway, Transport for London’s Road Network or red route, the strategic road network, taxis and licensed private hire trade and trams(TFL Community safety plan 2008/09)
In this essay am going to focus my attention on theft offences committed on the Public Transport Network in London that are reported and sometimes recorded with special interest in the International connection of arrested offenders nationalities.
CITY OF LONDON’S POPULATION:
London is a multi-ethnic city with a population that is constantly changing. The last pan-London snapshot that systematically collected data on London’s residents was the 2001 Census, which is by now fairly out of date in a lot of London’s boroughs. Some boroughs may not have changed that much, but others have rapidly changing demographics due to the extent of immigration which has happened in the past years.
Projected estimations of population are calculated every two years by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and mid-2006 projections have been used here to infer the most recent trends.
Delhi has been experiencing phenomenal growth in population in the last few decades. So, the number of vehicles has been increased to 40 lakhs, these are more than that of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai put together. Today traffic on the roads of Delhi is a mix-up of cycles, scooters, buses, cars and rickshaws, resulting fuel wastage, environmental pollution and increasing number of rod accidents. To ...
London is home to over 7.5 million people and this number is growing each year because two main reasons; births exceeding deaths and net international immigration surpassing net migration out of the capital to other UK regions. Overall population density in London is 4,562.17 people per km2 (mid-2006 estimates), however this masks variations across the geographical areas. Below is a thematic map of London boroughs, demonstrating the varying levels of population density. Not surprisingly Inner London has a higher density than outer London.
London has an extremely ethnically diverse population. Around 30% of Londoners are from non-White groups and this rises to 50% for school pupils. Moreover though London makes up just 15 per cent of the population of England, it contains 43 per cent of the nation’s non-White population (Focus on London 2007).
Added to this an increasing volume of non-British white people (such as Eastern Europeans) are coming to London to work and live. Disappointingly, no accurate borough breakdown is possible, however it is suggested that local authorities and education services would be a good source of information about current ethnicity levels in each area. (Focus on London 2007)
USERS OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT
The travelling population in London is as complex as the city itself. Apart from the London’s resident population (who may or may not use public transport), there are a number of tourists, both native and foreign who need to be included into passenger calculations, coupled with the commuting population. It is not easy to capture details of all public transport users and there is currently no known data base that has captured all this information. Hence, defining the travelling population is presently unachievable although the following information is helpful when united with what we know about London’s resident population.
The tourist population though constantly changing, should not be underestimated. The latest figures supplied by the International Passenger Survey, Office for National Statistics show London was the city that overseas residents stayed in the most in 2007, with a total of 15.3 million visits. This represented 96 million nights stayed in the capital and a spend of £8.2 billion. This is a fall in the number of visits (of 1.6
Due to the diversity it is becoming more difficult for law enforcement to know how to handle or have a conversation with citizens of another culture. When dealing with immigrants law enforcement officers will experience difficulties with communicating with them. Multicultural is related to several cultures in society, and in many cultures in some societies educational theory encourages interest ...
Per cent) and nights stayed (5.2 per cent) but an increase in spending (of 4.7 Per cent) from 2006. (Travel Trends 2007)
However, caution should be exercised when using such figures. The Office for National Statistics estimates that only 1 in 500 tourists are surveyed, which introduces a large amount of bias. It is also difficult to estimate how long those tourists actually spend in London as many will visit other places in the UK during their holiday.
According to the London Travel Report (2007), in 2006 on an average day in London, there were just short of 28 million journey stages; 37% of which were on public transport vehicles.
The number of rail passengers who commute into London are reportedly rising (Telegraph 2007)
Whilst not all of these will use public transport when they arrive in the capital, it is safe to assume some of them will. The London Travel Report (2007) states that in the financial year 2005/06 there were 232 million trips within London, with another 271 million trips to/from the capital. People commuting to London are most likely to reside in the South East or East of the UK.
There were 177,000 domestic coach departures from Victoria Coach station in the 2006 calendar year; carrying 8.1 million passengers. This was an increase of 170,000 passengers on the previous year, but the peak for volumes of passengers was seen in 2004 with 9.7 million. (London travel report 2007)
In my last essay entitled “Fighting Anti-Social Behaviour by Targeting Fare Evasion on Public Transport in London” I quoted the same theories below. This is because as far as fighting crime and disorder is concerned (which includes theft with an international connection) Transport for London will always use these theories which relate directly to what they are trying to achieve.
According to Transport for London, the approach to crime and disorder is shaped by evidence from a range of research studies and underpinned by some core principles. As some of the research findings influencing Transport for London approach are from studies in the USA the transferability of findings is kept under review. Transport for London approach draws on elements from the following theories:
According to McGregor (1995) 'Crime News is Prime News'. Critically discuss the manner in which crime is reported in New Zealand. What are the potential consequences of New Zealand based media representations of crime for your understanding of crime a "The police beat are all about people, what makes them tick, what makes them become heroes or homicidal maniacs. It has it all greed, sex, violence, ...
Broken windows theory:
George L Kelling and James Q Wilson first developed the theory that ‘just as the broken window left unattended is a sign that nobody cares and leads to more broken windows, disorderly behaviour and conditions left unattended are signs that nobody cares, leading to fear of crime, more serious crime and urban decay”( Atlantic Monthly 1982).
This theory suggests that tackling minor misdemeanours and low-level crimes – such as graffiti – deters further petty crime and anti-social behaviour and prevents more serious crime. Broken windows was the basis of the policing strategy used by Chief William Bratton on the New York transit system in the early 1990s resulting in dramatic improvements in both overall crime rates as well as passenger and staff confidence.
Similar principles apply in London. For example, around one in ten of those stopped for suspected fare evasion are of interest to the police for other criminal offences. Those breaking traffic and parking restrictions are significantly more likely to be of interest to the police than the general motoring public. This demonstrates the importance of tackling what can be perceived as ‘low level crime.’ Moreover, Transport for London passenger research highlights that the quality of the environment is a major factor in influencing passenger perception of safety.
Signal crimes theory:
Martin Innes and Nigel Fielding work on signal crimes (2002) builds on elements of the Broken Windows theory and provides the basis of the neighbourhood policing programmes. Signal crime theory suggests that certain incidents have a disproportionate impact on people perception of risk and sense of security, and they may alter their behaviour as a result. Innes’ research highlights the role of the media in exacerbating fear of crime. This is particularly relevant to Transport for London as the perception of risk and fear of crime acts a barrier for many people in using the transport system.
Malcom Gladwell (2000) first coined the phrase ‘tipping point’ to describe the point when an idea, behaviour or trend becomes widespread. Understanding how to create positive social epidemic is relevant to Transport for London as its aims to influence how people behave on public transport and on the roads, and attempts to create new norms of behaviour where everyone shows respect to each other, staff and the environment.
Crime and Punishment: Crimes, Who Solved Them, and Different Punishments Our topic for this paper is Crime and Punishment. There are several different issues on this subject. We chose three main points to talk about: The Crimes, the People who solved them, and the different types of punishments. These are the topics we chose for our report. Crime in the nine teeth century was rapid though out ...
CRIME STATISTICS AND RESEARCH
According to the Department of Transport in-depth mapping and analysis of the crime statistics along sections of bus routes in four case study areas (South Yorkshire, Merseyside, London and Lancashire) was undertaken to examine the relationship between bus-related crime and other crimes.
• Bus-related crime (to passengers, staff and vehicles) is positively correlated with levels of crime in the surrounding area. It is therefore suggested that schemes to tackle high crime bus corridors should be used in conjunction with schemes to tackle high crime areas, and that bus operators should work in partnership with the police and other agencies to ensure that bus crime reduction operation are integrated within wider crime reduction strategies.
• This relationship holds true for a number of crime types, and these include
o Criminal damage
o Theft of/from motor vehicle
o Theft from person/shoplifting/handling stolen goods/going equipped for theft
o Disorder, and specifically youth disorder
o Violence against the person
In London, the Transport Operational Command Unit is a partnership between Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police. Revenue Protection Inspectors board buses to inspect tickets. If a passenger fails to produce a ticket and refuses to give their name and address, the police are called and the passenger is taken to a police station for fingerprinting and searching. In the course of 7.5 million passenger checks in 2003/04, over 13,500 penalty fares and 35,000 notices for prosecution were issued (including for theft, deception, handling stolen goods, disorderly behaviour, and drug offences).( Department of Transport)
Transport for London (TFL):
Crime statistics is regularly collected by Transport for London and its agencies. The main source of crime data is through Driver Incident Reports and from the Metropolitan Police Transport Operation Command Unit (TOCU).
Driver Incident Reports:
I explained the meaning of Driver Incident Reports in another essay entitled “Fighting Anti-Social Behaviour by Targeting Fare Evasion on Public Transport in London”. I am repeating the same because this is one of the main tools used to gather information about the level of crime and disorder on London buses.
Directions: Please answer each of the following questions. Ensure that your responses are at least 1-2 paragraphs in length for each question. You may include examples from the text; however, please include APA citations as necessary. Please visit the Academic Resource Center for a concise guide on APA format. 1.Describe the colonial period’s three legacies to contemporary policing. Then list and ...
A ‘driver incident report’ is a call from a driver of a London bus to London’s 24 hour bus control centre (CentreComm), where a response is required or intelligence is being provided to inform future deployments of staff. These include situations where an emergency response is required. Driver incident reports are made for a variety of reasons, including:
• Mechanical problems
• Anti-social behaviour
Not all driver incident reports result in a recorded crime.
Table 1: Barnet Anti-social Behaviour Driver Incident Reports by year and category
Criminal damage Disturbance Forgery/fraud Robbery/ theft Violent offences Total
2004/05 268 1125 464 54 118 2029
2005/06 221 968 473 62 85 1809
2006/07 291 1036 794 52 112 2285
Driver reports are collected from each London Borough every financial year which starts from 1st April till the 31st March
Metropolitan Police Data:
Not all Bus crimes are recorded however if a crime is reported and recorded by the Metropolitan Police it goes into official statistics which are used by both the police and TFL to identify any problem and allocated required resources to solve that problem.
However Metropolitan Police Bus crime statistics should be treated with caution because the query used to filter out bus related offences looks for the word “bus” in any report. For example if a passenger reports that he was followed from bus 29 and then attached before he or she reached home which is half a mile away , this offence will be counted as a “bus crime” . New system of counting crimes is being developed but I am not sure when it will be put in practice.
The above table shows recorded crime on the bus network from the 01st /04/2008 to the 17th /01/2009 in all London Boroughs.
Recorded Theft offences were 8,284, Robbery were 1,878. The over all total number of offences was 19,955.
41.5% of the total offences above were Theft and if combined with Robbery they would account for 50.9% of all recorded offences on buses in London for that specified period.
This clearly means there is a big problem of Robbery and Theft on the bus network.
Take the London Borough of Barnet as an example; Table 3 and Graph 1 below shows the total number of recorded offences. Please note the high of theft offences followed by “violence against a person” (VAP) and the two are closely related due to the nature of some theft offences being carried out.
British Transport Police Data:
The British Transport Police (BTP) is responsible for policing London Underground, the Docklands Light Railway, Corydon Tram link and Over-Ground rail and stations in London.
All recorded crimes committed in their area of responsibility are regularly shared with Transport for London, Metropolitan Police and the City of London police.
British Transport police divides London into 3 main areas commonly known as sectors which are: Central, Eastern and Western.
Table 4; Table 5 and Chart 2 below show the number of Total offences recorded by British Transport Police from the 26th October 2008 until the 17th January 2009.
Table 4: Table 5:
In the above period there were 1456 Theft offences out of 5164 total offences in all the 3 British Transport sectors. This is equivalent to 28.2% of all the total offences.
Chart 3: (BTP)
Chart 3 above shows the percentage of people arrested for the top seen offences for the financial year 2007-2008 which starts on the 1st April and finishes on the 31st March.
The tables and charts above should serve as clear indicators of a problem of theft on Public Transport in London but to be able to tackle this problem effectively Transport for London, British Transport Police, Metropolitan Police and City of London Police had one question to answer “Who are the Offenders and who are the main victims?”
In this essay the focus is going to be on the identified offenders and their countries of origin and how Transport for London and all police forces are responding to fight this type of crime.
THE INTERNATIONAL CONNECTION:
Before this connection could be established research had to be carried by Police through asking and recording the nationality of arrested persons. This was not very easy as will be explained later in problems faced when dealing with international criminals.
According to (Hazel Croall 1998) A variety of methods are used to study crime –including statistics, surveys, interviews, questionnaires, observation , case studies and biographies. Research can be quantitative and qualitative , the former including statistics and large scare surveys and the latter, which stresses quality rather the quantity of information, using more detailed material obtained from offenders , victims or law enforcers. In deciding which method s to use, researchers must consider what resources are available, what questions they want to ask and how easily information can be gathered-which is particularly difficult with a topic involving crime. (Hazel Croall 1998)
In their book about organised crime discussing trans-national crimes; Patrick J. Ryan and George E. Rush (1997) say that:- Although organised crime has always been multijurisdictional in nature, it is becoming increasingly so. On the basis of the information from their research, global criminality may be classified into two categories. Criminals who commit trans-national crime are “based” in one but cross international boarders to commit their crime and then return home. As one illustration this has long occurred along the U.S- Mexico border, notably relating to Auto theft and burglary; however it is now occurring on a larger scare in Europe. This is particularly true since the internal EC border controls have been virtually eliminated and the East European has opened for easy passage. The second category they mention is International crime when an ongoing criminal organisation has established its enterprise in two or more countries. (Patrick/ Rush 1997)
Theft is the most common offence on the Public Transport Network in London which includes Buses, London under Ground, and London over Ground, Docklands Light Railway and the Tram Link.
According to Sussex Police quoting; Section 1 of the Theft Act 1968-A person is guilty of theft if: he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it. (Sussex Police)
A number of offenders have been arrested for these offences and their nationalities recorded. The findings were very shocking: Majority people arrested were not United Kingdom nationals. (BTP 2008)
For example Table 6 on the next page, shows nationality data of people arrested for theft offence by British Transport Police from the 01st April 2008 to the 05th December 2008.
Nationalities of Offenders arrested for theft by British Transport Police from the 01st /04/2008 to the 05/12/2008.
RESPONSE TO THIS PROBLEM:
More police officers have been deployed on the Transport network and close liaison with Interpol and other police forces in other countries has been established to tackle this problem.
An extra 440 uniformed police staff are to be drafted in to patrol major London bus stations to “take back our public places”, Mayor Boris Johnson said.
The 440 officers will be divided into teams of a sergeant, a constable and seven Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).
The teams will staff major bus stations and their immediate surrounds. These officers will be in addition to 1,200 uniformed officers already in place who patrol on buses and around bus routes. Another 440 officers are also already in place from Safer Transport Teams, deployed in 21 outer London boroughs.
Mr Johnson said: “Recent tragic events have further highlighted the need to get a grip on crime…
“The creation of these new teams, with some 440 new officers, is a crucial part of our strategy for taking back our public spaces, cutting so-called “minor crime” and anti-social behaviour, and increasing people’s sense of safety.” (BBC 16 May 2008)
Stop and search:
Police have increased the level of stop and search and stop and account in and around public transport hubs and nearby streets. This supplemented by the use of Wands and Metal Detector Arches around the public transport network in London.
Currently there are 60,000 recordable CCTV cameras operating on the 8,000 London buses and all London Underground Stations. CCTV is also being progressively rolled out to London Underground trains and over-ground rail stations.
A six-month trial of live CCTV on a London bus route begun where real-time images will be beamed to a control room manned by Transport for London (TFL) and police
Mr Johnson said: “I am determined to banish the sad minority of hoodlums and trouble makers that have blighted our buses.
“Having the facility to access live pictures from buses travelling around the capital will mean our bus controllers can play a far more effective role in sending police officers to sort out troublemakers.
“If this trial is successful then we will consider rolling out the system on other routes as part of our campaign to stamp out the casual disorder that led to a culture of fear on public transport.” (BBC- 20 Oct 2008)
Transport for London in partnership with the BTP has successfully introduced a US style performance management process, Compstat, into the British Transport Police to drive improvements in performance. Compstat uses timely and accurate intelligence to provide a rapid policing response using effective tactics, with relentless follow-up from senior managers in TFL and BTP. (TFL 2008)
Put simply, community engagement is the process of involving people in decisions that affect them. This can mean involving communities in the planning, development and management of services. Or, it may be about tackling the problems of a neighborhood, such as crime, drug misuse or lack of play facilities for children.
Local knowledge and understanding the diversity of the community are essential. This means looking beyond the ‘usual suspects’ – the small group of individuals frequently used to represent the views of their communities, and those groups typically labelled as hard-to-reach. (TFL 2008)
British Transport Police set up an Independent Advisory Group (IAN) made up of representatives from the different community groups in London.
Currently Transport for London and all police forces engage the communities through: Pan-London marketing, the Internet (Web), local crime (transport-related) issues, over 2,500 uniformed officers engaging with members of the public, uniformed front-line staff and stakeholder engagement. (TFL 2008)
Arresting and punishment of offenders:
By arresting and punishing offenders Transport for London and the all police forces follow the following four reasons which are given by Macionis and Plummer (1998).
I also referred to these four reasons in my other essay entitled “Fighting Anti-Social Behaviour by Targeting Fare Evasion on Public Transport in London”
1. Retribution: One key reason to punish is to satisfy society’s needs for retribution or moral vengeance by which society inflicts suffering on the offender comparable to that caused by the offence.
2. Deterrence: Deterrence amounts to the attempt to discourage criminality through punishment. Deterrence reflects the eighteenth century notion that as calculating and rational creatures, human beings will forgo deviance if they perceive that the pain of punishment out weighs the pleasure of mischief.
3. Rehabilitation: This is the program for reforming the offender to preclude subsequent offences.
4. Society Protection: This is the means by which society renders an offender incapable of further offences temporarily through incarceration or permanently by execution. (Macionis J and Plummer, K 1998)
Transport for London and all police forces carry out safety and security promotions on Trains , Buses , on Radio, Television, Schools, Community forums etc; the message given is for people to keep an eye on their personal belongings when using public transport and warning would be offenders that they are being watch and will be arrested.
According to British Transport Police there are different problems in dealing with different issues. When dealing with International thieves below are the main problems faced:
Due to the origins of offenders committing this type of crime it requires an interpreter when question them after arrest and sometimes important information is lost during this process.
Most foreign criminals arrested jump bail and it is very difficult to have them extradited to United Kingdom to face justice.
Lack of co-operation from abroad:
For example the most stolen items are mobile phones which can be permanently disabled in United Kingdom but can work in other countries. If once stolen in one country would not work in another this type of crime would stop, but lack of co-operation in other countries has made this unachievable.
Theft from a person is one of the most difficult offence to detect due to the discreet nature in which thieves operate and always in over crowded environment. It is so difficult to detect that even police officers sometimes fall victims to this crime.
Due to recruitment and funding there are not enough police officers to cover the whole of the public transport network in London. (BTP 2008)
Theft of personal property on the public transport network in London is one of the key priority crimes that Transport for London and policing partners are currently trying to reduce.
Having identified that most offenders are not from United Kingdom focus is now being turned to their countries of origin through close co-operation with local governments, police forces in those countries and local community groups in London in fighting this problem.
It is hoped that through joint working they will be able to stop these International thieves from coming to London and at the same time stop them from moving their loot from London back to their countries of origin.
1. (TFL 2008) – Transport for London 2008 internal publications.
2. (Focus on London 2007)- Taken from ‘Focus on London 2007’ produced by Office of National Statistics.
3. TFL Community safety plan 2008/09 (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/corporate/community-safety-plan-2008-2009.pdf
4. Travel Trends 2007 )
5. Telegraph 2007 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/11/28/nfares128.xml).
6. London Travel Report (2007)- http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/corporate/London-travel-report-2007-final.pdf
7. James Q Wilson and George L Kelling : “Broken Windows: The Police and Neighbourhood Safety” (1982) March, Atlantic Monthly 29.
8. Martin Innes and Nigel Fielding(2002) ‘From Community To Communicative Policing: ‘Signal Crimes’ And The Problem Of Public Reassurance ‘Sociological Research Online, vol. 7, no. 2,
9. Malcolm Gladwell (2000) – The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Little Brown, 2000.
10. Department of Transport http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/crime/linksbusrelatedcrime?page=3)
11. (TFL-CSEP 2008)- Transport for London Community Safety, Enforcement and Policing.
12. BTP 2008- British Transport Police information department.
13. (Hazel Croall 1998) –Crime and society in Britain, Longman, 1998.
14. Patrick J. Ryan and George E. Rush- Understanding Organised Crime in Global Perspective, Sage (1997)
15. Sussex Police
16. BBC 16 May 2008- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7404097.stm
17. BBC- 20 Oct 2008- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7678855.stm
18. Machionis, J and Plummer , K. (1998) Sociology a global introduction-(Prentice Hall Europe)