The number of serious crimes on London's Tube network has increased by 10 per cent in the past year, according to the latest figures released by British Transport Police (BTP). 

Reports of sexual offences on the Underground and Docklands Light Railway have risen by 31 per cent since March last year, compared to the same period in 2012/13. 

There were 102 additional sexual offences in the financial year 2013/14, taking the total to 429, compared with 329 the year before 

Overall, sexual offences have risen by 21 per cent on Britain’s rail network. 

The force admits is has seen a slightly higher increase in sexual offences than any other police force nationally.

BTP Chief constable Paul Crowther says the rise can be attributed to high-profile prosecutions of celebrities for historic sex offences, which have "undoubtedly given victims more confidence to come forward".

But he says a BTP led initiative, Project Guardian, has also had a significant impact.

Chief Constable Crowther said: "Project Guardian, a joint initiative between BTP, Metropolitan Police Service Safer Transport Command (STC), City of London Police and Transport for London (TfL), focuses on increasing awareness and confidence amongst the public to report unwanted sexual behaviour to the police or members of staff. 

"We are particularly interested in those offences which are often unreported, such as sexual assault, exposure, outraging public decency, lewd comments and harassment." 

London's transport system also saw the biggest increase in reports of violence against a person with 2,077 offences committed in 2013/14, compared to 1,897 in 2012/13. 

The 9.5 per cent rise on London Underground was almost three times higher than total figure for England and Wales.  

Other offences, such as criminal damage, theft of passenger property, robbery, public disorder and cable theft on railways, have decreased since March 2013. 

Criminal damage offences reduced by 4.4 per cent to 607, and theft on the Tube is down by almost a third (30 per cent), from 7,282 to 5,102. 

Drug offences on the rail network have risen by 15 per cent but has risen on London Underground from 591 to 913. 

BTP launched Operation Magnum in 2012 following concerns of theft on the Tube, particularly of smartphones and gadgets. 

Chief Constable Crowther added:"We have led the way in combating theft and there can be little doubt that Operation Magnum, which was driven by online content and social media, has had the desired effect with almost 3,000 fewer people falling victim to this type of crime year-on-year.

"During 2013/14 we also continued to spearhead efforts to tackle metal and cable theft both on the railway, and in other sectors, through the National Metal Theft Taskforce – bringing about a 37 per cent fall in railway cable theft which, in turn, significantly reduced the delays and disruption faced by the railway as a result of criminal activity."

Due to a restructuring programme introduced in April 2013, the force says it will be deploying an extra 200 'frontline' police officers.