Probably inevitably, it has been announced that there will be more police on the London Underground as the night tube launches this coming Friday.
TfL says that it is spending an extra £3.4 million towards policing for the Night Tube. This will see around 100 officers out on the network when full services are underway, with at least as many officers out during the night as would be seen during the day.
In addition, all stations will be staffed throughout the night.
However, evidence from 24-hour metros around the world also suggests that crime levels at night are no greater than during the day, so the question is raised as to whether the extra police are needed.
Will the night tube be a sea of drunken oiks needing to be carted off to the police cell to sleep off their excesses, or will it be fairly routine? Mundane. Maybe even a bit boring?
Also, contrary to media hysteria, binge drinking is on the decline.
The night bus already operates without the need for extra police. While at times many of us have wished for a calming presence on the bus home, the reality is that the majority of night bus journeys are not drunken revelers going home, but early shift workers heading into town.
The night tube is going to see an increase in traffic in the small hours, but it would be a disappointment if that then required more police.
A decent society should be one where we cut down on policing, simply because it isn’t needed.
Hopefully the night tube wont be a disappointment.
The first two Tube lines, Victoria and Central, start operating Night Tube services at 51 stations on Friday and Saturday nights from this weekend (19 and 20 August).