Latest Rail News

23.08.16

Hate crime increase on the railways following Brexit

Worrying new figures indicate that British railways are an increasingly dangerous place for ethnic minority groups following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.

According to figures obtained by the Press Association through a Freedom of Information request to British Transport Police (BTP), 119 race hate crimes were reported between 24 June, when the referendum result was announced, and 7 July.

This represents a 57% increase from the fortnight before the referendum, and a 78% increase from the same period in 2015. Three of the incidents involved actual bodily harm and 22 related arrests have been made.

Supt Chris Horton of BTP said: “Hate crime is totally unacceptable and has no place in society or on the rail network.

“We are aware that hate crime is under-reported and so in order to tackle it effectively, we need the public to stand up to those committing these sickening acts and report it to us. We will take every report seriously.”

The rate of reported hate crimes in society as a whole was 57% higher in the fortnight following the referendum than it was a month before.

One of the most high-profile incidents was a video of three youths chanting racist abuse at a man on a tram in Manchester.

It’s sadly unsurprising to have official confirmation that the increase in hate crimes has spread to railways. Despite the overall strong safety record on Britain’s railways, their transitory nature means that a small minority see them as an easy environment for committing crime and targeting others.

Whatever your views on the EU referendum, we all need to make clear that this behaviour is unacceptable and that railways should provide a safe travel space for everyone.

Bruce Williamson from campaigning group Railfuture said that the “worrying” figures show “the continuing need for staff presence at stations and on board trains”.

Rose Simkins, chief executive of charity Stop Hate UK, said that hate crimes as a whole are “extremely under-reported”, so the overall numbers could be even higher. She urged BTP to assess its hate crime strategy.

Transport for London has already launched the #WeStandTogether campaign to prevent hate crime on the capital’s transport networks.

Whilst rail staff and police remain vigilant about hate crimes, it also falls to passengers to take responsibility for the issue.

We should all speak out when we see people being abused on the railway, whether by calling out the perpetrators if it is safe to do so, by calling 999 or by offering support to the victim and making it plain that such acts aren’t tolerated.

(Image c. Transport for London)

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.

 

Comments

Jerry Alderson   23/08/2016 at 17:34

Bruce Williamson from campaigning group Railfuture said that the “worrying” figures show “the continuing need for a **visible** staff presence at stations and on board trains”. I've added "**visible**" above as I feel it is very important. There are far too many guards/conductors on trains who just operate the doors and then retire to their cab without ever entering the passenger part of the carriage the collect tickets or answer queries. There are also staff barely visible behind the glass window of a ticket ofifce who do nothing for the many passengers at the station who do not go to the ticket office. Station and on-board staff need to be where they are most needed or useful at any one time.

????   24/08/2016 at 11:08

I don't see how u didn't expect this seein as many British people feel that in there own country they are the minority u would have to be incredibly naive or stupid to not expect this

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

London passengers happier than before, but green shoots still ‘fragile’

26/07/2017London passengers happier than before, but green shoots still ‘fragile’

Rail passengers in London and the south east are more satisfied with their service in 2017 than they were last year, it has been revealed. T... more >
Transport investment must be ‘fairly weighted towards small stations’

25/07/2017Transport investment must be ‘fairly weighted towards small stations’

Investment in transport infrastructure and passenger experience in London needs to be spread more evenly across the system and focus on small sta... more >
TransPennine electrification and Piccadilly upgrade now also in doubt

25/07/2017TransPennine electrification and Piccadilly upgrade now also in doubt

Transport authorities in West Yorkshire have said it is “very disappointing” that electrification may not be completed along the enti... more >

editor's comment

03/07/2017Rapid progress needed

As RTM went to press, the National Infrastructure Commission outlined a list of the ‘top 12’ immediate priorities on which ministers must make rapid progress in the next year. Unsurprisingly, major rail schemes, including HS2, Crossrail 2 and HS3, featured highly in the projects that needed speedy development.  Lord Adonis stated that all of these have been agreed in principle, “but require decisive action to get ... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

A game changer for Wales and Borders

17/07/2017A game changer for Wales and Borders

Andy Thomas, managing director for Network Rail’s Wales route, describes how the infrastructure owner will work more collaboratively than e... more >
‘In the rail business, we’re leading the way’

13/07/2017‘In the rail business, we’re leading the way’

Andy Milner, the chief executive of Amey, tells RTM about the transformation programme that has been taking place in the company since his takeov... more >
Expanding an unprecedented level of style and comfort

13/07/2017Expanding an unprecedented level of style and comfort

At the end of May, Eurostar introduced its new e320 train on the London-Brussels route. Rob Haycocks talks to RTM about what passengers can expec... more >

last word

How do tram and rail passengers compare?

How do tram and rail passengers compare?

David Sidebottom, director at Transport Focus, analyses the drivers in performance of passenger satisfaction in tram compared to rail. Resul... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Triple electrification cancellation – a misstep from Grayling?

25/07/2017Triple electrification cancellation – a misstep from Grayling?

Following last week’s comprehensive set of announcements about HS2 and the closure of Parliament for recess, you’d be forgiven for th... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

How can the new government support rail freight?

20/07/2017How can the new government support rail freight?

Following the recent general election, Maggie Simpson, executive director at the Rail Freight Group, considers what action the government can tak... more >
Building a sustainable future for rail services in Wales

20/07/2017Building a sustainable future for rail services in Wales

Geoff Ogden, interim managing director at Transport for Wales (TfW), talks to RTM about how the organisation is putting sustainable development a... more >
A potential benchmark for engineering quality and architectural design

20/07/2017A potential benchmark for engineering quality and architectural design

Victoria Hills, chief executive officer at the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC), gives RTM an update on the work to create a... more >
Simple changes for energy efficiency

20/07/2017Simple changes for energy efficiency

Michelle Papayannakos, rail sustainability specialist at the RSSB, argues that improving the way energy is managed should be a high priority for ... more >