A senior police officer has said sexually motivated staring at people on the London Underground should be prosecuted, and a man was sentenced to prison for such behaviour last month.
Transport for London (TfL) launched a campaign last month to try and combat sexual harassment of women and girls, including cat-calling, staring and upskirting.
One of the posters used in the campaign reads: "Intrusive staring of a sexual nature is sexual harassment and is not tolerated."
In a statement released at the start of its campaign, TfL said: “Sexual harassment is a form of violence, most often directed against women and girls in public places.
“The safety of women and girls is an absolute priority for TfL and this new campaign is one element of TfL's work to ensure everyone can travel with confidence.
“The campaign aims to challenge the normalisation and dismissal of this behaviour as ‘something that happens’ to women and girls on public transport and in other public spaces, making it clear that it is never acceptable and that the strongest possible action will always be taken.”
And now a top detective with British Transport Police (BTP) is urging people to report such incidents.
Detective Superintendent Sarah White, a senior BTP officer told The Telegraph: "It's human nature to stare at things. However, it's very different when someone is staring, leering, or there’s a sexual motivation.
"We want to know about that staring because that is the behaviour that suggests to me that someone is thinking about a sexual behaviour that supports that staring.
"We will record them as crimes and we will investigate them - and we have had successful prosecutions in that field."
Last month, a man was jailed for 22 weeks after a woman reported him for ‘continuously staring’ at her on a train from Reading.
Dominik Bullock, 26, who had recently been released on licence from prison, refused to move out of the woman’s way and blocked her from exiting after she told him to stop staring.
Bullock was found guilty of causing intentional harassment, alarm or distress.
DS White also revealed that undercover police officers ride on trains in an attempt to catch criminals in the act.
She added: “My advice would be that you never know who you are standing or sitting next to on the railway because it could be a copper.”Featured Image Credit: Alamy