MUGGINGS on buses are increasing in Harrow as the police try to fill vacancies in specialist transport officers.
New figures show the borough’s safer transport team has several vacancies, despite money being available to fill the posts.
The revelations come as statistics from Transport for London (TfL) show reported muggings on buses in Harrow in the last nine months are up by 52 per cent on the same period last year.
London Assembly member Navin Shah said he is deeply concerned about the increase in robberies on the transport network.
“The dramatic rise of 52.63 per cent in robberies on Harrow’s buses is deeply concerning,” he said.
“While it is good news that other types of crime are falling, it is very worrying that this type of violent crime is rising. It is even more worrying that the police safer transport teams are chronically understaffed.”
The posts have been vacant since November, and are unfilled despite a request from the Mayor of London for the team to be at full strength by March.
In the last nine months, there were 29 robberies on buses in Harrow per one million passengers compared with 19 in the same period in 2010.
Train and Tube lines at Harrow-on-the-Hill Tube station recorded the greatest amount of reported crime of all types, including robbery, anti-social behaviour and theft, but saw a drop from 78 per 100,000 passengers in 2010/2011 to 53 in the last year.
Wealdstone also saw a reduction from 43 reported crimes down to 20.
There was, however, rises in crime at South Harrow Tube Station, Rayners Lane, North Harrow and West Harrow.
A police spokesman said: The number of PCs assigned to safer transport teams across all London boroughs will be increased and will be in place by the end of March. In the case of Harrow’s safer transport team, there will be an increase of PCs from seven to 13.
“The target of an enhanced total number of 13 should be achieved within six weeks.”