The British Transport Police are hunting for a group of men who chanted racist slurs onboard a train on Saturday 5 March – the group are believed to have been travelling to Rochdale for the EDL demonstration which took place that day. The incident happened on the 11.08am Leeds to Manchester Victoria service, when a group of around 50 men boarded the service at Halifax.
Detective Constable Jason Ridgway, of BTP’s Criminal Investigation Department, said:
“The group’s behaviour included chanting racist and inappropriate remarks and aggressively punching and banging on the train’s interior, causing unnecessary fear for passengers and staff onboard the train. The behaviour of these men was outrageous and has no place on the railway – or in the wider community – especially at a time when families are travelling between cities.”
DC Ridgway added: “Racism and Islamophobia in our community and on the rail network is totally unacceptable. Everyone has the right to travel without fear of abuse or threatening behaviour, and when that behaviour is further exacerbated by racist undertones, our stance becomes firmer still. BTP and the wider rail industry will not tolerate any form of racism on the rail network and we will do everything in our power to take action against those responsible.”
If you have information contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 quoting background reference B12/NWA or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Update: See also Exposing the English Defence League, 31 March 2011