The Capital Drives Out Hate Crime On Public Transport

Posted on Tuesday, 27th June 2017 at 12:06

The first pledge in Scotland to end hate crime on public transport has been launched today (Tuesday 27 June) by the City of Edinburgh Council and transport partners.

The ‘Charter for Public Transport’ aims to provide ‘hate free’ travel and partners Edinburgh Trams, ScotRail, Police Scotland, British Transport Police and First Scotland East came together in Haymarket station to make their pledge.

The members of the Equality Transport Advisory Group (ETAG) and service providers have developed this joint campaign to give victims and witnesses more confidence to report hate incidents and highlight to everyone that those who victimise innocent members of the public simply because of their race, sexuality, religion, gender identity or disability will not be tolerated.  

The official launch of Edinburgh’s Transport Charter kicks off two days of action to raise awareness of the campaign. Partner organisations are hosting road shows at Waverley railway station, on board trams and on First Scotland East busses where representatives will be out on the streets talking about the campaign – discussing hate crime and advising what people can do if they spot an incident.  

Today's launch will see a roll-out of the pledges on trains, trams and buses around the city. Staff within each organisation have held special talks on what this initiative means and how they can help support it.

The feedback from the campaign and the associated survey will be analysed by the Edinburgh Community Safety Partnership so that all partners can benefit from the findings and know where to target support or heavier measures.

Today’s launch was attended by Humza Yousaf, Scottish Government Minister for Transport & the Islands.

Speaking of the official launch, City of Edinburgh Council Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Macinnes said:

“Edinburgh is a diverse and thriving city that does not tolerate any form of hate crime. The city is a safe place to live, work in and visit but sadly there is a small minority who behave in an unacceptable manner. This charter - a first in Scotland - is a fantastic step forward."

Culture and Communities convener, Councillor Donald Wilson said: 

"The Edinburgh Community Safety Partnersip want all passengers to have a safe and enjoyable journey and we want victims and witnesses to feel they can report these incidents and that they will be taken seriously. This is a key priority for all our partners and their pledges reinforce that this is how Edinburgh operates - there is no room for hate."

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said:

"The support given to Edinburgh's Community Safety Partnership Transport Charter is encouraging and clearly shows the commitment towards responsible behaviour and passenger safety.

There is absolutely no excue for hate crime or prejudice towards people working or travelling on our transport network and I am extremely grateful for the work of City of Edinburgh Council and partners in developing and implementing the charter.

"The Scottish Government is committed to tackling hate crime wherever it happens, whenever it happens and whoever it happens to, and I am pleased that we are currently working on the introduction of national charter based on this very model."

Lea Harrison, Managing Director at Edinburgh Trams said:

“Work such as this is hugely important, to help maintain relatively low levels of hate crime on our services. By signing up to this charter, we will help our customers continue to travel in the environment they have become accustomed to .”