British Transport Police (BTP) investigators are appealing for witnesses after two teenage girls who were on an exchange programme from Hong Kong, were racially abused by a group of men onboard a train at the weekend.
PC Harry Thompson, the investigating officer, said the incident happened onboard the 9.14pm Knaresborough to York service on Saturday, 29 January and caused the girls great distress.
“A group of between 6-8 men boarded the service at Knaresborough and began singing songs. They then began saying racist comments towards two Chinese girls who were on the service at the time”
“The unprovoked abuse clearly left the girls, a 17-year-old from Harrogate, and a 16-year-old from Escrick, both exchange students studying in the area, feeling extremely intimidated and frightened”
“Racist abuse of any sort is unacceptable, but the nature of the insults levelled at the passengers in the carriage were despicable”
“Everyone has the right to go 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 locate those responsible.”
Three men, a 56-year-old, a 50-year-old, and a 24-year-old, all from York, were arrested at York station and have been bailed until Sunday, 20 February pending further police enquiries.
DID YOU WITNESS THIS INCIDENT? – OFFICERS APPEAL FOR INFORMATION AFTER TEENAGERS ARE RACIALLY ABUSED – KNARESBOROUGH/YORK
If you have any information about this incident contact BTP on Freefone 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference B9 NEA 01/02/2011, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.