Mayor to work with police to tackle hate crime on public transport
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has pledged to work with the capital's police forces to tackle hate crime on London’s transport network.
There has been a rise in reports of racist or xenophobic abuse in the capital since the EU referendum, and today the Mayor urged Londoners to “stand together” in support of a campaign that targets all hate crime on public transport.
The #WeStandTogether campaign has been adopted by police forces in London and around the country to co-ordinate awareness of hate crimes and efforts to tackle them. It makes it clear that any behaviour where someone is targeted or made to feel uncomfortable on their journey because they are different will not be tolerated.
The number of reports of hate crime occurring on the transport network in London is usually very low. But with a recent spike in the number of hate crimes being reported generally to the Metropolitan Police, and 31 million journeys on public transport in London every day, the Mayor is determined that every part of the capital should be vigilant.
Sadiq Khan said: “I am proud of the incredible diversity of our city and nowhere is that more evident than on our trains and our buses. They are a melting pot of different cultures and you will hear languages originating from every corner of our planet. I simply will not tolerate hate crimes of any form, anywhere in London. We must stand together and anyone who sees or is targeted by abusive behaviour should report it to the police immediately.”
British Transport Police, the Metropolitan Police Service and City of London Police are planning several days of action over the coming months where they will meet and speak with members of the public about hate crimes, which may be on the basis of someone’s race, religion, gender, sexuality, age or disability.
British Transport Police divisional commander Martin Fry said: “Incidents of hate crime are thankfully extremely low on the rail network. Any crime or incident of anti-social behaviour which is motivated by hatred is absolutely abhorrent and won’t be tolerated. We want Londoners to stand together to tackle hate crime. If you experience it, or see it happening, we want to know about it.”
The #WeStandTogether campaign encourages anyone who witnesses or is the victim of any kind of hate crime on London’s transport network to report it to the police. People can report an incident discreetly by texting 61016 from a mobile phone or by calling 101. In an emergency they should call 999.
Commander Mak Chishty, who leads on community engagement for the Metropolitan Police Service, said: "Hate crime will not be tolerated in London. We are working with the other forces to police London and to proactively tackle this destructive crime. We want the people of London to stand together to tackle hate crime. We would appeal to anyone who witnesses or suffers any form of hate crime to immediately report it to us so that we can quickly take action and bring perpetrators to justice."
Steve Burton, TfL’s Director of Enforcement and On-street Operations, said: “We care about our customers and want them to feel safe and secure on every journey they make. No one should be made to feel worried about being victimised because of who they are. We are proud of the diversity within our organisation and the customers we serve, and we stand together alongside our policing partners to say loud and clear that any form of Hate Crime will not be tolerated on our network.
“We fund over 3,000 police and police community support officers dedicated to policing the transport network these officers work in partnership with thousands of frontline transport staff to help keep passengers and staff safe. We are stepping up our efforts on this important issue to reassure our customers that Hate Crime has no place on our services.”
There are also contact details available for anyone who feels uncomfortable speaking to the police about a hate crime incident. They can visit report-it.org.uk where reports can be submitted that are anonymous. Anti-Muslim incidents can also be reported at: Tell MAMA on 0800 456 1226, WhatsApp 0734 184 6086 or at tellmamauk.org. And for antisemitic incidents CST can be called on 0208 457 9999 or reported at cst.org.uk
Chief Inspector Hector McKoy from City of London Police said: “We want everyone to feel safe and secure in the City of London. We know we have an important role to play in communities, helping people to feel safe and secure about being themselves as they go about their lives – we take that responsibility very seriously.
“Alongside partners we are meeting with our communities who could be or feel at risk and offering them reassurance and support, and if they are victims of hate crime or witness hate crime knowing what to do about it. The City of London Police message is very clear, do not suffer in silence and report it!”