1 in 8 MTR assault victims are men, survey finds

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 September, 2011, 12:00am


One in eight MTR passengers who claimed in a survey to have been indecently assaulted on trains were men.

But male respondents supported separate carriages for women, saying it would help to protect them from false accusations.

These views emerged from a survey conducted by the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong last month which found that more than eight in 10 alleged victims of such assaults did not report them.

The political party urged the MTR Corporation to try out women-only carriages in rush hours and install surveillance cameras on all trains.

The DAB, which interviewed 434 females and 221 males aged 12 and over, found that 77 females and 11 males had been indecently assaulted.

More than three-quarters of females said they would use a women-only carriage and more than two-thirds of men supported the idea.

Dr Elizabeth Quat, chairman of the DAB Women's Affairs Committee, said: 'We asked some of our male friends and they said that when they enter a crowded carriage, they are afraid of being falsely accused of indecent assault because it is hard to avoid bodily contact.'

However, the rail operator said it had no plans for segregated carriages as they would impede passenger flow through the trains and affect evacuations if there was an emergency. It would also not be practical for MTR staff to ensure no men entered the women-only compartments.

A spokesman said surveillance cameras were installed on all carriages on the West Rail, Disneyland and Ma On Shan lines, and on all new Light Rail carriages. Some East Rail carriages are fitted with cameras.

Police figures showed that in the first half of this year, 68 cases of indecent assault were reported on the MTR, leading to the arrest of 47 suspects.

Quat said surveillance cameras would discourage assaults and help provide proof.

'You may be assaulted and not even know it,' she said.

Quat said the most common methods of assault were elbowing someone in the chest or taking advantage of a crowd to press one's body against another.

The party advised passengers to shout for help if assaulted and to use a mobile phone to photograph the assaulter.

It also urged MTR Corp to increase plainclothes staff on trains.


The number of reported incidents of indecent assault on the MTR last year

In 2006, 98 cases were reported