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BTP Scotland to mark National Hate Crime Awareness Week

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“I’ve cried and had flashbacks. I don’t want to be this colour sometimes. I feel like I rubbing it off it got so bad.”

These are the heart breaking words of Sukhi, a member of rail staff who was subjected to offensive, hurtful and racist abuse whilst on duty at work in north west of England. 

Abusing people in this way is a crime, a hate crime.

Across the nation we receive reports daily from passengers and rail staff who have been the victim of hate crime. They have been abused, harassed or even assaulted because of who they are, what they look like or what they believe in.  

We take every single report seriously, will investigate every single report thoroughly and will support every single victim individually.

To mark this year’s National Hate Crime Awareness week, starting on Saturday, throughout the week BTP Scotland officers will be spreading the message that hate crime is not acceptable. Absolutely everyone has the right to travel on the rail network without being targeted because of their race, religion, disability or any other perceived difference. 

Throughout the awareness week, officers will be at key stations across the nation talking to passengers, rail staff and members of the public about the #WeStandTogether campaign, an initiative designed to stamp out hate crime and hate incidents on public transport. 

Officers will have stands at stations such as Motherwell, Glasgow, Stirling, Kirkcaldy, Dundee, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and more. 

They will also be talking about how we tackle hate crime and support victims, and will be providing practical advice on what you should do if you are a victim or witness hate crime. We’ll be joined by colleagues from Police Scotland and ScotRail Alliance. 

Detective Inspector Grant Cathcart from British Transport Police, said: “Hate crime has no place in our society and we continually work hard to stamp out hate crime on the rail network.  No one should ever be targeted because of who they are and we are dedicated to preventing incidents from occurring. Likewise, we will always look to identify offenders and bring them before the courts. 

“Unfortunately, a small number of people continue to target groups because of who they are.  Upsettingly, in Scotland we have seen an increase in racially aggravated incidents on the rail network. We take each report incredibly seriously and will always work tirelessly to identify offenders and bring them before the courts. 
 
“Likewise, we continue to record multiple incidents where passengers and rail staff are subjected to sectarian abuse on trains travelling to and from football matches. This is inexcusable, each incident will always be investigated as a hate crime and the appropriate action taken. 
 
“Our message to people in Scotland this week is, if you are ever a victim of a hate crime on the rail network, please report it. Offenders should not be able to hide and their behaviour should never go unchallenged. Our officers will be talking with passengers and rail staff this week to make sure this message is spread far and wide.” 

In 2013, BTP launched an innovative text service for reporting crime discreetly on the rail network. If you ever need to get in touch, you can text BTP on 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40. In an emergency call 999. 
 
Listen to Sukhi's story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0EnViyfQiE

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