Tube trouble: Commuters more likely to be drunken assault victims on District than Northern Line

Drunken assaults on commuters are more likely to occur on the District Line than the Northern Line, according to figures obtained by SW Londoner.

Since 2009 there have been 612 recorded non-accidental incidents, including acts of anti-social behaviour and drunk and disorderly on the District Line and 504 on the Northern Line.

The most startling year was in 2011 when 126 incidents were recorded on the District Line compared with the 62 that occurred on the Northern Line.

Over the last five years the figures have fluctuated but 2014 presented a more positive outlook with the figures on both lines falling from previous years.

In addition the British Transport Police are clamping down on the matter by preventing those who attempt to board trains while under the influence.

A spokesman for British Transport Police said: “Alcohol-related disorder is unsettling for other Tube and rail passengers and can put lives at risk.

“Drinking alcohol on London Underground is strictly prohibited.

“If you are planning to use the Tube after having a drink, we would advise you to drink in moderation. It is harder to be aware of your surroundings when drunk, and you are more likely to become a victim of crime.

“You may be refused permission to travel if it is believed you are intoxicated. Our officers may issue a Penalty Notice of Disorder (PND) if they believe you have committed an alcohol-related offence.”

While there is not a huge difference between the overall statistics of the two main tube lines serving south west of London, the figures are contrary to what the general popular believe.

For example, in 2014 blogger Katie Brennan and cartoonist Alexander Bucktin re-imagined the London Underground as people.

The pair imagine the District Line as a ‘zimmer-framed cranky old Nana who whinges every time she has to do anything’.

It stands in stark opposition to their impression of the Northern Line – a liberal graduate with a job in digital media and a microbrewery.

The Northern Line has however experienced a greater number of well-publicised incidents in recent years.

In 2013 actress Michelle Collins was harassed and threatened by a gang of drunken youths on a Northern Line train.

And in 2014 a mob of around 80 youths armed with machetes were involved in a drunken brawl on a Northern Line train as it pulled into Belsize Park station.

The District Line does however serve ten more stations than the Northern Line, and this could be a contributing factor – even if those stations are the somewhat sleepy towns of Wimbledon, Richmond and Ealing.

Image courtesy of Jasperdo, with thanks

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