Transport for London (TfL) is endorsing active bystander training in Harrow and across London to empower residents in combating hate crime.
In support of National Hate Crime Awareness Week (14-21 October), TfL is providing funding for free training sessions, designed to bolster the confidence of Harrow residents in intervening and preventing hate crime incidents.
Delivered by charity Protection Approaches and their partners, Britain’s East and South East Asian Network, these training sessions aim to equip individuals with the skills needed to safely support victims and address hate crimes based on race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or gender identity.
According to a 2021 Personal Security report, 63% of passengers expressed a desire for more information on how to effectively intervene during public transport incidents.
This training aims to bridge this confidence gap, ensuring that members of the public are prepared and capable of responding to hate crime situations.
The active bystander training sessions, available virtually or in-person in London between November and January, welcome participants from all backgrounds and require no prior knowledge or experience.
The sessions focus on empowering individuals to recognise their role as active bystanders and allies, providing them with essential tools to intervene safely when faced with hate crimes.
TfL’s commitment to promoting safety extends beyond training initiatives. Throughout National Hate Crime Awareness Week, TfL is partnering with local authorities and law enforcement agencies to conduct events in London, raising awareness about hate crimes and offering reassurance to residents who may be concerned about safety while using public transport.
London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance, said: “The Mayor and I want everyone to be safe at all times when travelling around London. Everyone has the right to use public transport without fear of abuse and TfL takes a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of hate crime.
“Sadly, over recent days the increase in antisemitic and Islamophobic hate crime has reminded us there is always work to do. Today, the Mayor and I are asking Londoners to join us in sending the message that hate has no place in our city.
“Londoners have told us that they want to support victims if they witness a hate crime, and they would feel more confident doing so if they had information on the best and safest ways to help.
“That is why I’m pleased TfL is supporting police to run a series of events across the transport network to raise awareness of hate crime and reassure those who may lack confidence on public transport. Together we can build a better, safer London for everyone.”
Siwan Hayward, TfL’s Director of Security, Policing and Enforcement, said: “No one should ever face abuse or discrimination for who they are. We won’t tolerate this behaviour on public transport which is why tackling hate crime is a priority for us and our transport policing partners.
“Over the course of National Hate Crime Awareness Week we are out and about on London’s transport network with our police partners to raise awareness of hate crime and its impact, the importance of reporting and calling on Londoners to be active bystanders to support each other.
“And just as our transport network is for everyone, so is this excellent active bystander training with Protection Approaches – I’d encourage anyone who is keen to find out how to help themselves and others to sign up.”
A/Detective Superintendent Ross Morrell, from the Met added: “National Hate Crime Awareness Week reminds us that we must stand together against all forms of hatred and prejudice.
“We will not tolerate any forms of hate crime and we will do everything possible to work with our partners and bring offenders to justice.
“Diversity is one of London’s greatest strengths and we want everyone to feel safe and protected. Hate crimes often traumatise whole communities and we would encourage anyone who is a victim of hate crime to report it to police.”
Andy Fearn, Co-Executive Director of Protection Approaches, said: “Whether it’s an inappropriate comment in the workplace, harassment on the Tube, or a physical assault in the street, we know that most people want to stand up and do something when they witness hate and to help protect the victim.
“Yet most don’t because they’re unsure how to do so safely and in ways that ensure the best outcomes for victims. Our Active Bystander training is proven to help people feel more confident and equipped to act.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with TfL and to be providing this training for its passengers. Together, this work will make London that little bit safer.”
The free half-day active bystander training courses are now available to book here.