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Race hate crime on railways rises 37% in last 5 years

Race hate crime on railways rises 37% in last 5 years

Categories: Latest News

Wednesday January 27 2016

The Guardian reports on a 37% rise in race hate crimes on Britain’s railway networks within the last five years, with an average of more than five reported incidents of abuse and harassment each day, according to figures released under FOI.

British Transport Police (BTP), which collates data covering railway services in England, Scotland and Wales, including the London underground, recorded 1,993 incidents of racially or religiously motivated hate crimes in 2015, an average of 5.5 incidents per day.

Excluding incidents that do not state the victim’s racial identity, over three quarters of incidents recorded in 2015 involved non-white victims. A breakdown of the data shows that 36% of victims were black, 33% were Asian, 3% were mixed race and 3.5% were in the ‘other’ race category.

The greatest rise in racially motivated crimes over the last five years was against white victims, which now account for 24% of incidents recorded by the BTP. In 2015, 346 hate crimes were inflicted on white victims compared with 204 crimes in 2011.

In over a quarter of incidents recorded by the BTP (27%), the race of the victim was not stated.

In terms of prosecutions, the data, obtained via a freedom of information request shows the number of race hate crimes resulting in a prosecution fell between 2011 and 2015, from 704 to 663.

In relation to the perpetrators of hate crime on British railway networks, the majority (73%) of crimes recorded last year were instigated by white people. In 2015, black suspects accounted for 17% of hate crime incidents where the race of the suspect was stated, compared with 14% in 2011.

The most common hate crimes recorded last year involved racially or religiously motivated harassment, alarm or distress. Such incidents accounted for 58% of all hate crimes recorded by the BTP. Common assaults, where no injury was recorded, accounted for approximately 11% of hate crimes,  220 incidents, while racially or religiously motivated aggravated assault with bodily harm accounted for 1.5% of all hate crime (30 cases).

Commenting on the released data, a British Transport Police spokesman said: “Only by understanding the true scale and nature of the problem can we hope to develop lasting solutions that will give all travellers and rail staff an environment as free from hate crime as possible. What is important for people to know is that we care and we will respond.”

Mick Cash, the general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said: “These are shocking figures and match up with the reports that RMT members are feeding back to the union from the sharp end. They coincide with the drive to de-staff our trains and stations in the search for cuts and increased profits.”

Some of the race and religious hate crime incidents that were documented on British railway networks last year included a Muslim woman who was pushed on to the underground train tracks on the Central Line during rush hour, a woman who shouted racist abuse against Muslims on a train in Blackburn, a man who forcefully tried to remove a Muslim woman’s hijab on a train travelling between Matlock and Derby, and a man who proceeded to verbally abuse two Muslim sisters on a Metro train in Newcastle.

Late last year, official figures published by the Home Office revealed a 43% rise in racial and religious hate crime in England and Wales between 2013/14 to 2014/15. In light of the sharp rise in hate crimes in Scotland, Police Scotland launched a “transport charter” in September to tackle hate crime on public transport as part of a month long campaign to highlight the prevalence of hate crimes in the country.


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