New pledge to end hate crime on public transport

Local organisation SCOREscotland was in attendance last week (Tuesday 27 June) at the launch of the ‘Charter for Public Transport’.

SCOREscotland’s Local Community Voices Project has joined the Edinburgh Transport Charter sub group and has supported the roadshows that have taken place in Edinburgh over the past few weeks to raise awareness of the Transport Charter.

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 kicked off two days of action to raise awareness of the campaign. Partner organisations held road shows at Edinburgh Waverley railway station, on board trams and on First Scotland East buses where representatives were out on the streets talking about the campaign – discussing hate crime and advising what people can do if they spot an incident.

The 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.

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

Speaking of the official launch, Shasta Ali, of SCOREscotland’s Local Community Voices Project, said:

We wholeheartedly support the launch of the Hate Crime Charter for public transport.  We welcome this Charter and are very proud to be one of the partner agencies supporting it.  The pledge by Edinburgh City Council and Transport partners sends out a strong message that any form of hate crime will not be tolerated. Everyone deserves to live and travel safely and more importantly hate free.

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 Partnership 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 of 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 excuse 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 a national charter based on this very model.

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