Sussex PCC criticises women-only train carriages idea

Proposals to introduce women-only train carriages to combat sexual assaults have been criticised by Sussex's Police and Crime Commissioner.

Thursday, 24th August 2017, 4:47 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 4:16 am
Southern Rail has reported train disruption

Chris Williamson, Labour’s shadow fire and emergency services minister, suggested the idea had ‘some merit’ and is ‘worth consulting about it’.

Speaking to website Politics Home, the Derby North MP argued the move, along with more guards on services, could help combat a rise in reported sexual offences on trains across England, Wales, and Scotland.

But Sussex PCC Katy Bourne was critical of the idea, tweeting: “Seriously? He’ll suggest we paint them pink next.

“Instead of ‘why doesn’t she sit in a separate carriage?’ how about ‘why doesn’t he stop?’”

During the Labour leadership campaign two years ago Jeremy Corbyn said he would consult with women and open it up to hear their views on whether women-only carriages would be welcome.

Even fellow Labour MPs have opposed women-only carriages in response to Mr Williamson’s comments.

Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, explained that for decades they have been trying to move past the idea that women were to blame for the actions of abusive men, and such ideas ‘put the responsibility on the victim not the perpetrator when we ask women to modify their behaviour in order to avoid attack’.

Mr Williamson later tweeted: “I only suggested consulting on offering a choice in view of year on year increase in attacks. Vital to get more guards on trains and stations.”

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