Active bystanders: TfL launches anti-sexual harassment campaign in London
TfL has launched an anti-sexual harassment campaign, calling on Londoners to be “active bystanders” and act when witnessing inappropriate behaviour.
Transport for London (TfL) launched the campaign today in partnership with rail trade body the Rail Delivery Group, as well as the British Transport Police, the Met and City of London Police.
This comes on the same day disgraced Met officer David Carrick admitted 49 offences, including 24 counts of rape.
The new campaign sets out “clear guidance” for commuters on how they should react if they witness sexual harassment.
This includes distracting the perpetrator by asking banal questions – such as ‘What’s the next stop,’ or ‘Do you have the time’ – as well as making sure that victims are okay.
“The mayor and I are clear that the safety of women and girls is a key priority and TfL takes a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of sexual harassment on London’s public transport network,” said deputy mayor Seb Dance.
“That is why I welcome TfL launching this new campaign which will help Londoners to look out for each other when travelling around the city.”
Research published by consumer organisation London TravelWatch in 2021 showed that 64 per cent of people would feel more comfortable responding to a crime if they had more tools on how to help.
TfL’s campaign was welcomed by an array of stakeholders, including London’s Night Czar Amy Lamé.
According to Lamé, the new campaign will also help Londoners who work at night – including those in the hospitality and night-time industries.
“I welcome this campaign launching today which helps provide each of us with information and active steps we can take if we see an incident of sexual harassment when travelling,” she said.
“Small and safe actions such as asking someone if they are OK can make a huge difference.”
Lamé’s words were echoed by Claire Barnett, executive director of UN Women’s UK, who hopes the campaign will be a “conversation starter.”