London transit urges women to report harassment to police; how about it, CTA?

A new London campaign is encouraging women to report sexual harassment on the London tube via text message or phone.

An effective and somewhat graphic YouTube video shows a woman being constantly harassed by the same man, including fondling and grinding.

The campaign by Transport for London urges the simple message: Report it stop it.

Transport for London says 90 percent of unwanted attention and harassment goes unreported on public transport. And the campaign uses a Tumblr page to describe what happens when a woman reports harassment – the key result being that the police will contact the woman within 24 hours. From the Tumblr page:

Help us stop the offenders

We have thousands of officers trained and able to deal with unwanted sexual behaviour. We use your information, as well as CCTV and witness accounts, to help us identify and stop those responsible. There is often a pattern to offenders’ behaviour, so your information could lead to an arrest when added to other reports. We can send uniformed or plain clothed police officers to locations with multiple reports to prevent offences before they happen. You might feel that the offence was too minor to report, but we take all incidents seriously.

London says both reports of harassments and arrests have increased 30 percent.

This is a campaign that both the CTA and Chicago Police should adapt.

For its part, the CTA includes a harassment campaign as part of its Safety and Security web page.

And I’ve written about the CTA Courage Campaign. But its time for the Chicago Police to join with the CTA on tougher enforcement tactics. And the Transport for London campaign is a great model.


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  • Any need for a campaign assumes that your average female CTA rider can't figure out on her own that if she thinks harassment is actionable, either dial 911 on a cell phone or push the intercom button on a train car.

    I take the "see something say something" campaign as somewhat different, in that I wouldn't assume that an abandoned lunch bag contains a bomb, although transit security now does.

    Maybe the issue is what behaviour is considered too minor by a lass to report it to the constabulary, but the alert quoted here doesn't describe it.

    If any campaign is needed, it is to tell women like the one who reported being kidnapped at at Pink Line station that the security cameras and Ventra card records prove that she was not there.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to jack:


  • I love it when men want to tell women what to do to stop harassment.

    Forget it Jack. And pretty low of you to bring up the alleged kidnapped woman in this thread.

    We need police who take these reports seriously and follow up, and we need a texting option for reporting.

    We have neither here in Chicago.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    No, it wasn't pretty low of Jack to bring that non-crime up. It wasn't an "alleged kidnapping", it was a woman who made up a lie, because "she was trying to account for time spent partying and ingesting cocaine with men she met on her way to work"!
    There's going to be a certain percentage of reports of harassment that will be false.
    And every false report will make the cops & the general public more skeptical of similar reports.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    That alleged kidnapping has nothing to do with the harassment women face every day.

    Again, I love when men just know what women think.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    So, you are a man who thinks women are so stupid that they can't report a crime on the CTA without there first being a campaign about it, nor to figure out why the cameras are there, including to detect rapists and liars?

    In short, you believe in extreme irony.

    If you believe what you repeatedly typed about men, turn this blog over to your wife.

  • In reply to jack:

    No. I believe the CTA and Chicago Police need to have more resources to investigate when women report harassment. Now, they really don't.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    So, the campaign to call the cops (like the CTA "Don't be Jack" campaign) isn't going to do a bit of good.

    BTW, the cameras were used to catch a rapist at the Morse stop, which again, IIRC is near where you live. So they seem to work better than you think. Why don't you post some statistics instead of making accusations against the police?

    And if you reread what I posted, I didn't say anything about not reporting harassment, nor what I conceived harassment to be. And, if you reread the block quote, all the London authorities are saying is to report the harassment. It would make no difference if reports of harassment are up 30% if you are convinced that the police will ignore it. Or maybe you voted for Chuy for his 1000 more officers.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, what the police really need are the resources to investigate the reports of harassment. They don't have that now so their priorities are elsewhere.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    I should have linked here; he got 36 years.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Come on Kevin, please either Edit that last one or remove it. There's entries from others too, that are over the line. My guess is Tribune isn't encouraging swearing in these blogs - either way I've seen your personal high integrity here on this blog and its pre-cursor over the years - please let this blog be one of the few that doesn't degrade itself.

  • In reply to JohnT:

    Oh puleez. "Give a shit"? That rates a D- on the swearing scale. Of course, "give two shits" would have been a tad better.

  • In reply to JohnT:

    You're right JohnT. I apologize. I was a bit over the top. What I really meant was they don't have the resources to investigate harassment, and they must find them. I changed the comment to reflect that sentiment.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Again, it wasn't an "alleged kidnapping", it was a flat out lie!
    That has nothing to do with your foolish "I love when men just know what women think."
    Lies like that cause the cops to discount ALL reports of harassment.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Yes Scooter, I agree it was a lie. But you are dead wrong that "Lies like that cause the cops to discount ALL reports of harassment."

    There's a big difference between this lie and daily reports of harassment.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    You don't know cops then. Many give short shrift to women complaining about rape & even more consider harassment complaints to be BS.
    There are women that file complaints about catcalling, which isn't a crime, just asinine, offensive & annoying.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    I'll bet female cops feel differently.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    So, I guess males shouldn't do police work either. BTW, who should handle crimes on Halsted in Wrigleyville?

    Also, the assumption I get from your comment is that female officers like to haul a lot of people in on disorderly conduct charges, which is about all that the conduct Scooter describes legally constitutes. Probably a "wise" use of scarce police resources.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    I agree that texting is a good option. 'Not sure how one manages to carry on a conversation with a 911 operator on a crowded, noisy bus or train car. As for pushing the intercom button, that assumes one can reach the button. Most of my train rides are on packed cars. I'm lucky if I can get to the door.

    This ties in with the conversation we had a few months back regarding Twitter. The CTA does a poor job of communicating with the passengers. Texting is a no brainer. I did try sending an email to the CTA, and I got a response shortly thereafter. However, sending an email from a crowded train is going to be difficult at best.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    If Kevin's current position turns out to be that due to lack of police resources, either a campaign to notify the police or actually notifying the police is going to be futile, I don't think the means of messaging is going to make much difference.

    Since the police have to prioritize violent crime (at least if we believe the last political campaign), maybe there is a question of what constitutes actionable harassment. The London police quote said "You might feel that the offence was too minor to report, but we take all incidents seriously." If there were 14 shootings and some real rapes (such as the one that resulted in a guilty plea and 36 years), maybe the police can't prioritize "he talked to me in a demeaning manner." But Kevin also appeared to make it clear that men aren't allowed to make those distinctions.

    Also, as I implied earlier, getting the word to such persons as the murderer of Kelli O'Laughlin that his mug was on CTA surveillance cameras on the Orange Line at the same time her stolen cell phone was pinging there, or to the Morse rapist, both of whom were convicted based in part on that evidence, might have a better deterrent effect, if they can comprehend the concept.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, the means of messaging can make a big difference, which I think was the point of the original story. Put yourself in the position of someone making a complaint. Imagine trying to make a 911 call, which is more appropriate to other types of situations and will probably end up with no useful results because the offender is long gone by the time anyone shows up. The text alternative is a way to contribute information that may help when put together with other pieces, without becoming the center of pointless attention at the time of the incident.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    Not if Kevin's point is that, as a matter of discretionary justice, the male cop is going to ignore it.

    You are probably better off with the Guardian Angels' text number.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, that is not my point at all. If a male (or female) cop actually witnessed blatant harassment - such as grinding on a female, I am certain he/she would not ignore it.

    My point as you should well know by now, is there are not enough resources to do the London reporting model. Further, my point is that resources should be found or redirected for this.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    So, I guess you get rid of Bruce Rauner and the problem is solved.

    What resources should be redirected? From the gang crimes unit? Homicide at 51st and Wentworth?

    But then why did you bring up the female cop? Or your whole anti-male thread?

  • In reply to jack:

    We're stuck with both Rauner and the lousy Democratic leadership for four years.

    As for redirecting resources, States Attorney Alvarez helped us yesterday in that regard by saying she would no longer prosecute minor pot or other drug offenses. And while the city has made pot possession a ticketable offense, there still are arrests being made. So that has to stop. Use the funds for those endeavors to start a texting campaign in which police follow-up on complaints.

    As far as the cop thread goes, it was Scoooter who brought it up, and I was replying to it: "You don't know cops then. Many give short shrift to women complaining about rape & even more consider harassment complaints to be BS."

  • In reply to jack:

    Kevin: "Democratic leadership"? In Illinois? Look up the definition of "oxymoron". 'Saw a report a few weeks back that ranked Illinois #49 in best value for taxes paid. Well, at least we're not Connecticut.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    Isn't it strange that Tracy Swartz, on her way out under "Speak Up" had certain suggestions, congruent with what I said above, and not needing a campaign to give her the idea.

  • Huh? one Woman's Harassment is another Woman's Compliment. it's pretty much subjective male punishment if men decided to not comment pro or con towards women they'd imbue a national study to find out what the hell was wrong with us.

  • In reply to Craig Jackson:

    It would be better to confine personal remarks to people you know. You have a better sense of how they might be received, than if you make them to strangers. Please realize that women on the train are there just like anyone else, because they need to get where they are going. Their presence is not intended as an invitation for you to comment on their appearance. If they are minding their own business, you probably should do the same.

  • In reply to Craig Jackson:

    Funny, but I never thought grabbing a stranger's a** on a crowded L car was a form of compliment. I learn something new every day.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    But that gets to the "level" of harassment, a topic that Kevin disqualified males from discussing.

    Since both you and Scooter implied the issue, there are various levels of criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse, which require "sexual penetration." Your "assengrabben" example would be simple battery, and much more difficult to prove. Theoretically, threatened "assengrabben" would be simple assault. As I mentioned above, Scooter's examples would be at most disorderly conduct.

    Browse through the Illinois Criminal Code if you are interested in further pursuing this.

  • In reply to jack:

    Somehow the link didn't work, try again.

  • Good point Spiny. You got me on the "Democratic leadership" oxymoron.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    Well, they are the leadership in the sense that they dictate to their caucuses what to vote on bills, or keep the bills in committee if they can't get their way. Not leadership in a positive way, though.

    There were some reports in the past few days that Congress is acting more responsibly now that the Republican majorities have to take some responsibility for governing. Maybe now the Illinois General Assembly will act more responsibility, knowing that they no longer have an invertebrate governor to roll.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    From Dilbert: "Leadership is the art of trading imaginary things in the future for real things today". Yup, sounds like Illinois.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    Certainly Quinn. But now there is the debate whether CPS should declare bankruptcy. More pension bonds were suggested as an alternative, but that doesn't work if its bond rating is already in the toilet.

    On the other hand, Wisconsin might have done what Dilbert said, in a positive way, by trading planning money for Kenosha to Milwaukee commuter rail into saving the Milwaukee County Transit System for a couple of years.Last time anything like that happened in Chicago was when Jane Byrne traded in the Crosstown Expressway for the O'Hare and Midway transit extensions.

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