15 April 2015
RMT Press Office
RMT demands end to staff cuts as new figures show continuing increases in race hate crimes on our railways.
RAIL UNION RMT today demanded an end to staffing cuts as new figures obtained by the Press Association reveal that the number of suspected race hate crimes taking place on the railways continues to rise with four reported to police every day last year.
British Transport Police have confirmed that they recorded a total of 1,468 allegations of racially or religiously aggravated offences in 2014 - a rise of more than 100 compared to the 1,364 in 2013 and a further increase from the 1,351 in 2012.
The figures, released today by the Press Association, confirm that the number of reports of incidents has increased 8.7% over the past three years.
The PA figures, obtained through a Freedom of Information request show that 232 of the suspected offences involved violence including 185 racially aggravated common assaults and 42 racially or religiously aggravated assaults causing actual bodily harm.
Mick Cash, RMT general secretary , said:
"These are shocking new statistics which show a marked increase in racially aggravated incidents, exposing the sheer complacency of rail and tube bosses despite a weight of recent evidence suggesting that the safety of passengers and staff is being compromised.
"De-staffed stations and trains, alongside over-stretched and over-crowded services, are core factors in this increase in racially motivated incidents as far as our members are concerned.
Against this background it is simply outrageous that the private rail companies continue to threaten to axe guards and other safety critical staff and that tube bosses are crashing ahead with ticket office closures and station de-staffing.
"Warm words and policy statements will not tackle this deeply troubling situation.
"Only action will reverse this trend and with the prospect of savage staff cuts from the next phase of rail franchises, and with all night tube running only months away, RMT will continue to fight for the resources required to turn the tide on this relentless increase in racially motivated assaults on our railways."