As latest findings from London TravelWatch reveal the urgent need to tackle abuse and hate crimes against LGBTQ+ individuals on the capital’s transport network, Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz affirms the commitment of Newham Council to play its role in addressing these pressing concerns.
- The latest personal security report reveals deep concerns among LGBTQ+ people, with two-thirds feeling a constant threat of violence or harassment while using public transport.
- Trans+, Deaf and Disabled LGBTQ+ individuals, and LGBTQ+ People of Colour express a heightened sense of concern compared to the overall sample.
- Many LGBTQ+ individuals feel compelled to be extra vigilant, altering their behaviour to hide their identities, avoid eye contact, and maintain constant alertness.
- A significant number (75%) would not feel safe intervening in an incident on public transport, emphasizing the need for more active bystanders.
- Recommendations include tackling anti-LGBTQ+ prejudice, improving visible staff and security at stations for the benefit of all transport users, awareness campaigns, regular staff training, further research into safety concerns, and collaboration with LGBTQ+ organizations and individuals.
Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz OBE said: "In Newham, we pride ourselves on being a diverse and inclusive community, and the findings from London TravelWatch are a stark reminder that we must actively work towards realising these values on every front. No one should feel unsafe while traveling, and it is our duty to ensure that everyone, regardless of their background, gender, race or sexual orientation can move freely and without fear.
“A lack of confidence in the police is evident, with almost half stating that seeing the Metropolitan Police does not make them feel safer. 84% of victims did not report incidents due to concerns about police effectiveness or handling and two-thirds of LGBTQ+ people report experiencing at least one form of victimisation on public transport in the last year, reflecting a perceived decrease in safety over the past five years.
“We will continue to work with partner organisations to tackle any form of hate crime. There is no place for Hate in Newham. Those who commit hate crimes attack the fundamental values that underpin our diverse society, values of acceptance and respect for others.”
Councillor James Asser, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainable Transport said: “The LGBTQ+ community is an integral part of the rich community that makes up Newham, and we stand firm against any form of discrimination or hate crime. The recent findings from London TravelWatch are alarming, and it is our collective responsibility to address these issues head-on.
“I’d like to emphasise the need for a united front to address these findings and Newham will actively engage with partners and stakeholders to implement changes that ensure the safety and well-being of every individual on our public transport system.”
Councillor Rohit Dasgupta, Deputy Cabinet Member for Equalities, Social Justice and Culture said, “I am deeply moved by the experiences shared by the LGBTQ+ community regarding their safety concerns on public transport. It is vital that we listen to these voices and take decisive action. Newham Council is dedicated to creating a safe and inclusive environment for everyone.
“We endorse the recommendations by London TravelWatch and recognise the importance of engaging with LGBTQ+ organisations and individuals in this process. Our commitment is unwavering—we will work together to build a transport system that fosters safety, respect, and equality for all.”
Newham Council remains committed to fostering a community where everyone feels safe. The Council is committing to tackling all forms of hate crime.
Hate Crime is any crime that is targeted at a person because of a hostility or prejudice towards a person’s race, faith or religion, sexual orientation, transgender or disability. It can have a devastating impact on victims, create fear and weakens community cohesion. It is completely unacceptable that individuals and communities should suffer abuse or attacks because of who they are and the Council and its partners are working towards reducing Hate Crime in Newham.
Newham Council introduced its Hate Crime Strategy in 2022. The Council is committed to working with partners to tackle all forms of Hate Crime in Newham. This three-year strategy sets out the Council’s commitment to supporting victims of hate crime and holding perpetrators to account. It was developed in consultation with key partners including the Metropolitan Police Service, community and third sector organisations.
The Council works with communities across the borough to increase their confidence to report these awful crimes and access appropriate support. The Council is committed to educating and empowering residents to understand how hate manifests and be able to challenge and call out problem behaviours and attitudes. Fundamentally the strategy also focusses on how the Council works with partners to prevent hate crime, support victims, and bring perpetrators to justice.
Hate Crime can be reported at https://www.newham.gov.uk/public-health-safety/hate-crime