Women-only train carriages first proposed by Jeremy Corbyn could combat sex attacks, Labour MP Chris Williamson thinks

An idea for women-only train carriages has resurfaced after an MP said it could help combat sex attacks by passengers on public transport.

With sexual offences on trains more than doubling in the past five years, creating separate travelling arrangements for female passengers might offer “a safe space” for women according to Chris Williamson.

British Transport Police figures show 1,448 offences were reported in 2016/17, compared with 650 incidents in 2012/2013.

The idea for women-only carriages was suggested by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during his 2015 leadership bid, but the plans were dropped after criticism, including from prominent women Labour MPs such as Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall.

Derby North MP and shadow fire minister Mr Williamson was drawn into the debate when he retweeted an article by left-wing blog Skwawkbox pointing to the figures showing a rise in sex attacks on public transport.

Remember when Corbyn was mocked for floating women-only carriages? https://t.co/VyVzfBuT39 pic.twitter.com/Tp5M3U1UTO

— The SKWAWKBOX (@skwawkbox) August 21, 2017

He told PoliticsHome: “It would be worth consulting about it. It was pooh-poohed (when Jeremy Corbyn suggested it), but these statistics seem to indicate there is some merit in examining that.

“Complemented with having more guards on trains, it would be a way of combating these attacks, which have seen a very worrying increase in the past few years.

“I’m not saying it has to happen, but it may create a safe space. It would be a matter of personal choice whether someone wanted to make use of it.”

Women-only carriages on trains have been tried in countries such as Japan, Brazil and Mexico.

Labour’s Stella Creasy criticised the move on Twitter, arguing it would “normalise” attacks and that women should be safe to sit anywhere.

Hi @DerbyChrisW can we make all carriages safe for all passengers rather than restricting where we can go? It’s not us, it’s them honest… https://t.co/hcto5iYa1I

— stellacreasy (@stellacreasy) August 22, 2017

The Walthamstow MP, who is a vocal campaigner for women’s rights, said: “Can we make all carriages safe for all passengers rather than restricting where we can go? It’s not us, it’s them honest…”

She added: “Doesn’t keep women safe to restrict their movements – it normalises attacks.

“We need to be clear they (the attackers) are problem, not women’s seating plans.”

What do you think? Could women-only carriages work or is the idea tackling the issue from the wrong angle? Add your comments below.

Source : http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/local/topstories/15490079.Women_only_train_carriages_could_combat_sex_attacks__an_MP_thinks___have_your_say_and_vote_in_our_poll/?ref=rss