Bus ticket campaign raises awareness of hate crimePublished Wednesday, 14th December 2016
Safer Rotherham Partnership launches bus ticket awareness campaign over hate crime.
Rotherham Council has been working with bus companies, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) and South Yorkshire Police to look at ways to tackle the issue of hate crime, in particular to try and increase the number of prosecutions.
This follows on from Cllr Emma Hoddinott visiting Rotherham Speak Up – a self-advocacy group for people with learning disabilities – where she was told by the group that they often experienced incidents on public transport.
Passengers are now being asked to help tackle hate crime by being made aware of how to report hate crime incidents as part of a new bus ticket advertising campaign ahead of Christmas.
Running from late November up to Monday 19 December, people catching buses in Rotherham will find information on what to do if they witness or experience a hate crime.
Hate crime is unwanted behaviour targeted at someone because of race or ethnicity, religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The advert gives details of how to contact the police by telephone, email or online.
Cllr Hoddinott, Chair of the Safer Rotherham Partnership, welcomed this step to raise awareness of hate crime. “Targeting someone on a bus because of their disability, sexuality, religion or race is unacceptable. I hope people will use this information to report incidents when they see them – it is as simple as sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
South Yorkshire Police’s Hate Crime Co-ordinator for Rotherham, PC Chris Nicholson added: “We have been working closely with bus companies and a lot of progress has been made, with some positive results. But we need people to come forward and report incidents so that we can take action against those responsible.”
Andy Simpson, Head of Business Performance at First South Yorkshire, said: “As well as supporting this campaign, we have implemented a number of initiatives, including joining the Safe in Rotherham scheme. This means that every bus is a safe haven for people in distress, and our drivers are trained to assist in these incidences, and to call for assistance. We recognise the value of this initiative in Rotherham and have extended our own campaign to include our Sheffield and Doncaster depots.
“We believe that by continuing to work closely with South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council we will provide customers with the confidence to report incidences of hate crime, and by doing so, we can put an end to these acts.”
SYPTE Executive Director, Stephen Edwards, added: “We strongly support this proactive approach to targeting hate crime and continue to work in partnership with Rotherham Council, operators and the police to eradicate any issues affecting safety or the perception of safety on and around South Yorkshire’s public transport network.”
If you are bullied, taunted, or suffer any abuse because of your race, disability, faith, sexuality or gender identity, or you have witnessed a hate incident taking place, you can report it to the police directly on 101, or through local reporting centres. A full list of reporting centres can be found at the Safer Rotherham Partnership website.
If you prefer not to make a formal report or you would prefer not be contacted or leave your name, you can also report through the Operation Solar email address.
Whilst the Police will not be able to contact you and investigate your individual report, they will use the information you provide to target and tackle hate crime in the community.
Pictured are members of Speak Up with Pc Nicholson, Cllr Hoddinott and Brian Bailey and John Knight from First South Yorkshire.