Posted: Sun 2nd Jun 2024

British Transport Police urge teenage girls in Wales to report sexual harassment

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

British Transport Police released new statistics today indicating that sexual harassment is significantly underreported by teenage girls in Wales.

The 2023 figures show a 33% decrease in reports, with only 21 incidents reported compared to 28 in 2022.

These statistics highlight a concerning trend, as police believe many incidents remain unreported.

One voice bringing these statistics to life is Lex Gibbon, a 19-year-old singer who has turned her personal experience of harassment into a powerful new single titled “Audacity”.

Lex’s harrowing encounter involved being followed, verbally abused, and touched by a man in an underground train station. Unaware at the time of the British Transport Police’s text 61016 service, Lex did not report the incident.

Lex later learned about the text service and has since collaborated with British Transport Police to launch her single and raise awareness about the importance of reporting harassment. “I believe it’s really important to help women feel safer on public transport,” Lex said. “When I wrote ‘Audacity’ about my experience, I felt it could really raise awareness for the initiative.”

British Transport Police Assistant Chief Constable Paul Furnell emphasised the gravity of such behaviour and the importance of reporting it.

“The man’s behaviour as described by Lex is completely unacceptable. I want everyone to know that acting like this on the rail network has serious consequences.

“As well as our uniformed and plain clothes officers, 150,000 CCTV cameras and your fellow passengers are watching you.

“We’re receiving more and more reports about sexual harassment, as people have had enough of this disgusting behaviour and know we prioritise tackling it. We use reports from multiple passengers to secure the strongest possible sentences for sex offenders.

“Sadly, we know that many women feel that they have no option but to put up with sexual harassment. That’s not the case: if someone is persistently bothering you and makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, please text 61016 to report it.

“Our officers are on patrol 24/7 and can meet trains at the next station. If it happens on the tube and you don’t have signal, you can speak to staff or text us at the next station.

“Nothing is too small to report and sexual harassment is never your fault. Save text 61016 in your phone today”.

Listen to Audacity here: https://collect.wetransfer.com/board/slw1b24i1i4x0o9n320240409172645

How to report

Every report is important. See it or experience it, you can report anything that makes you uncomfortable by text 61016, via the Railway Guardian app or by calling 0800 40 50 40.

Click here to save text 61016 in your phone today: https://qr1.be/X0RR

You can also report past incidents and anonymously report sexual offences at btp.police.uk.

In an emergency, always call 999.

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