§ Mr. Harry Greenway
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action is being taken to increase the effectiveness of the British Transport police and staff of London Underground Limited in preventing crime on London Underground.
§ Mr. Portillo
New area police stations will be opened at Finsbury Park, Wembley Park and Hammersmith by April. The increasing practice of allocating officers to area police stations allows much quicker response times. The complement of the Underground division of the British Transport Police in 1985 was 280. This was increased to 350 following the publication of my Department's report on crime on the Underground and I announced a further increase in December to 400. About 80 officers of the Metropolitan and City police forces are carrying out duties on the Underground while the division is being brought up to strength.
Under the "customer care initiative", staff of London Underground Limited are being trained to become more aware of customers needs and more available to the public. Courses for new recruits and refresher courses will now include specific training in passenger security. London Underground Limited has also recruited 28 additional staff to help carry out anti-crime measures being tested at 13 Underground stations. These schemes are examples of the measures being taken by London Underground to combat crime.