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Nearly half of women ‘feel unsafe using public transport alone after dark’

The figure is even higher among females aged 16 to 34.

25 May 2022

Nearly half of women in Britain feel unsafe using public transport alone after dark, compared with around one in five men, a new survey suggests.

The gap is even wider for young adults, with 17% of males aged 16 to 34 saying they feel unsafe compared with 58% of females – the highest proportion among any age or sex group.

The findings have been published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) as part of a wider survey of perceptions of personal safety and experiences of harassment.

It is the first time the ONS has asked questions about safety on public transport, with responses collected from adults in Britain between February 16 and March 13 2022.

The figures suggest just over a third of all adults (34%) “feel very or fairly unsafe” using public transport on their own after dark, while nearly one in 10 (9%) feel unsafe using it during the day.

While the proportion of males and females who feel unsafe travelling during the day are broadly similar, at 8% and 11% respectively, there is a sharp difference when using public transport alone at night, at 19% and 48%.

There is also a large gap between the proportion of disabled people saying they feel unsafe using public transport alone after dark (45%) and non-disabled people (29%), and between people of mixed or multiple ethnicity (57%) and other groups, such as white (34%), Asian (34%) and black (28%).

A higher percentage of adults in London feel very or fairly safe by themselves on public transport at night (67%) compared with all other regions except Scotland (67%) and the South West (62%).

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