Transport for London (TfL) announced a series of measures it is putting in place to continue to improve how it tackles hate crime on the network, making public transport a more welcoming and safer place for everyone as more people return to the network. The move follows several months engaging with community groups and TfL's frontline staff to better understand lived experiences and concerns about hate crime on the transport network.
TfL takes a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of abuse on its network and is working hard to ensure its customers and staff are safe, feel safe, and have the confidence to report any incident knowing that it will be taken seriously and investigated.
Hate crime is significantly underreported across society and transport is no exception. In 2019, more than 2,760 hate crimes were reported to the police, but the real figure is thought to be higher. Extensive engagement over the past six months with a range of community groups, including COVID-19 Anti-Racism Group, Shomrim, and Tell MAMA, has shown that more needs to be done to communicate with, and inform passengers and staff about hate crime, and to show solidarity and support to victims.
In response, TfL is taking the following action:
- Customers travelling on public transport from today will see TfL's new campaign focused on tackling abuse on the network. Posters are displayed across the network encouraging customers and staff to stand in solidarity against hate and abusive behavior. Messages include “London stands together against abuse on our transport network,” “we won't tolerate hate crime,” “we won't stand for abuse of TfL Staff,” and “we won't accept drunken abuse of TfL Staff.”
- From early 2022, new Diversity and Inclusion training for all new bus drivers will include a module specifically about dealing with hate crime. The training will be developed in consultation with London based community groups to tackle hate crime. Additionally, from today updated guidance on how to report and support victims of hate crime is being issued to all bus drivers.
- TfL's STARS program is introducing a new educational exercise for London's secondary schools, which explores the impact of hate crime and encourages pupils to share the solidarity message that hate crime will not be tolerated.
TfL continues to work closely with its transport policing partners to support the investigation of hate crimes on its public transport network to bring offenders to justice. Over 2,500 police and police community support officers patrol the network to improve the safety of customers and staff and reassure those who may feel vulnerable.
Police crime figures show that a quarter of all work-related violence and aggression incidents are hate crimes. TfL takes a zero-tolerance approach to all types of staff abuse against its transport staff and works alongside the Metropolitan Police Service and British Transport Police to tackle it. This includes targeted operations for physical assault and verbal aggression on staff, public order offenses, hate crimes, and drunken abuse. Approximately 4,500 body worn cameras for staff have been in operation across the TfL network since the end of 2020 to help reduce workplace violence.