Police run anti-hate crime awareness events for Stratford commuters

Metropolitan Police Inspector John Oldham, left, with officers promoting the #WeStandTogether messag

Metropolitan Police Inspector John Oldham, left, with officers promoting the #WeStandTogether message outside Stratford station - Credit: Archant

Commuters were urged today to speak out against abuse on public transport in a joint campaign by police officers.

The #WeStandTogether message is being promoted at 50 engagement events across the capital, including Stratford station, as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

Officers from British Transport Police, the Met, the City of London Police and TfL are hosting the meet-and-greets in order to reach “vulnerable” groups of people. BTP has already spoken to 5,000 people over the last three months.

Hate crime is classed as an offence towards a person motivated by race, gender, disability or religion.

Although such offences feature in only five per cent of reported crimes on London’s public transport network, officials say its impact on victims was far worse than property offences such as theft.

Insp John Oldham from the Met Police Roads Transport Policing Command said he hope to “protect people”.

He said: “From speaking to victims it [hate crime] marks them for the rest of their lives. It undermines them as a human being.”

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“People may be called a name or something else but won’t report it and that means the abuser is free to do it somewhere else,” he added.

It is hoped the campaign will provide people with practical information about reporting hate crime while assuring them that any allegations “will be taken seriously” by the police.

Insp Oldham said 2,000 officers regularly patrolled London transport services to provide support and there was a strong chance of perpetrators being caught.

He said: “It is almost impossible to be on the transport network and not be seen by CCTV.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London today is more diverse than ever and I am incredibly proud that we don’t just accept our differences, but celebrate them.

“There is simply no place in our capital for hate crimes of any form, and we will not tolerate them.

“We must stand together and anyone who witnesses or experiences abusive behaviour should report it to the police immediately.”

Engagement events will take place tomorrow and Friday from 10am to 1pm next to the bus entrance at Stratford station.