Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

THE DANGER RAIL STATIONS; Year after Lawyer Tom's Murder, Commuters Left at Risk after Dark

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

THE DANGER RAIL STATIONS; Year after Lawyer Tom's Murder, Commuters Left at Risk after Dark

Article excerpt

Byline: JONATHAN PRYNN;ELLEN WIDDUP

TRAIN commuters still face danger at unmanned London stations despite huge public pressure to staff them.

Just over a year after the murder of Tom ap Rhys Pryce, scores of mainline stations remain unsupervised after dark.

The 31-year-old lawyer was stabbed to death by two muggers for his mobile phone and travel card after leaving unmanned Kensal Green station.

His murder prompted the Evening Standard's Safer Stations campaign which called for train companies to provide staff at every station until the last train has gone.

A total of 229 stations were listed which were unmanned for some or all of the time. Today there were fresh calls for action as it was revealed that 218 stations are still not staffed full time.

Only nine stations have seen improvements in manning and two have shut - while 49 have got worse and 169 have not changed.

Figures show there are more than

eight robberies or assaults on the Tube and rail network every day.

A spokeswoman for London TravelWatch, which represents the interests of commuters, said: "Security is certainly higher up train operators' agendas.

"But although people are taking it seriously we would see all stations manned the hours they are open.

"We would also like to see stations well lit and properly looked after.

There is no doubt that passengers' perception is as important as reality."

Jayne Lewis, of Denmark Hill, uses Herne Hill station regularly. "CCTV is fine but it does not seem to me to prevent a crime happening like a guard would," she said.

" The problem is that anyone who wants to commit a crime on a station is going to cover their face or wear a hood to make the CCTV footage worthless.

"I have never had any real trouble thankfully but I do expect to before long. There are always gangs of youths and kids hanging about and even though they are probably not doing anything wrong they are intimidating. …

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