West Yorkshire’s bus companies and transport authority Metro have joined forces with the police in a bid to increase the reporting of hate crime incidents against both drivers and passengers.
Safer Transport West Yorkshire, which brings together West Yorkshire Police, the transport authority Metro and bus companies including Arriva and First Buses, have launched a new initiative aimed at encouraging people to recognise hate incidents and report them to police.
Police and transport providers believe there is an under reporting of hate incidents on the county’s buses and have put in place a series of advertisements on buses and at bus stations across West Yorkshire explaining what a hate incident is and calling on anyone affected to contact police.
Sergeant Rachel Claughton is Safer Transport West Yorkshire’s dedicated Liaison Officer.
Sgt Claughton said: “These type of hate incidents often go unreported leaving people to suffer in silence.
“The aim of this campaign is to educate people that any abuse; be it racist, homophobic, religious or any other hate crime is unacceptable and needs to be investigated by the police.
“Hate crimes have a devastating effect on both individuals and communities and I want to be absolutely clear – victims will have the full support of ourselves and that of our transport partners and all incidents will be investigated thoroughly and compassionately.
“West Yorkshire Police will vigorously pursue those who commit these crimes and do all in our power to bring them before the courts.”
“Almost 200 million journeys are made by bus each year in West Yorkshire and almost all are made in complete safety,” said Metro Chairman Cllr James Lewis. “But hate crime is equally as serious as vandalism and physical assault. Metro, West Yorkshire Police and the bus operators are dedicated to making every bus journey as safe as possible, which is why we are working together in the Safer Travel Partnership on this initiative.”
West Yorkshire Police (28 06 2012) – Police and Bus Companies – driving down hate crime
wymetro (02 02 2012) – Safer transport initiative to keep buses crime free
West Yorkshire Police – website
West Yorkshire Police – hate crime information