Health, Social Care and Housing Committee

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1 Health, Social Care and Housing Committee 10.00am, Tuesday 11 November 2014 Speak Up for Safety on Public Transport Item number Report number Executive/routine Wards Executive All Executive summary The Hate Crime Strategic Development Group, a sub group of the Edinburgh Community Safety Partnership, held a Discussion Day in autumn 2014, to consider safety on public transport in Edinburgh. The event gave members of the HCSDG, which includes the Council, partners and stakeholders, the opportunity to meet with transport providers to discuss ways to improve the safety and security of those using public transport in Edinburgh. The event aimed to focus on ways to improve the customer public transport experience, in particular for those groups who may be at risk of being victims of hate crime, or hate incident, whilst using public transport and related services at transport hubs. Links Coalition pledges Council outcomes Single Outcome Agreement P32 CO5 CO15 CO21 CO23 SO4

2 Report Speak Up for Safety on Public Transport Recommendations It is recommended that Committee: 1.1 notes the content of the report; and 1.2 agrees to receive a future report with details of the finalised Transport Charter. Background 2.1 As part of the Edinburgh Community Safety Partnership (ECSP), a number of discussions have taken place between Hate Crime Strategic Development Group (HCSDG) members and public transport providers as part of a wider dialogue to prevent hate crime, improve outcomes for victims of hate crime, and increase reporting of hate crime incidents. These discussions identified scope for improving consistency across transport providers in dealing with hate crimes. To facilitate this, the HCSDG agreed that a Discussion Day focussing on safety on public transport would be a valuable and useful approach in progressing this agenda. 2.2 The HCSDG s Outcomes, Indicators and Action Plan , contains a number of outcomes which are supported by the facilitation of the Discussion Day and those are detailed in the main report. Main report 3.1 A Discussion Day was held on 24 September 2014, organised by Edinburgh and Lothian s Racial Equality Centre (ELREC) with support from the ECSP. Although referred to as a Discussion Day, the event was a half day session and included keynote speakers, workshops, and discussions on key themes linked to transport provision in Edinburgh. 3.2 The event was well attended with over 50 participants from a range of services, organisations, and residents who had suffered hate crime themselves, taking part. 3.3 The event was entitled Speak Up for Safety on Public Transport and aimed to achieve the following outcomes: an increase in feelings of public safety and security on public transport; Page 2

3 an increase in victims confidence to report hate crimes and incidents on public transport; and an improvement in the way public transport providers deal with and respond to reports of hate crime on public transport. 3.4 The Discussion Day objectives support the priorities of the ECSP, and a number of outcomes in the HCSDG s Outcomes, Indicators and Action Plan , in the following ways: HCSDG Short Term Outcome 1 Improved knowledge and understanding of hate crimes and incidents in Edinburgh; Discussion Day attendees will be able to voice their concerns and experiences at the event to raise awareness and help improve understanding of hate crimes and incidents on public transport. HCSDG Intermediate Outcome 1 Enhanced confidence and trust in reporting of hate crimes and incidents; By facilitating discussions between partners and transport providers, the Discussion Day aims to improve the way transport providers deal with and respond to victims who report hate crimes or incidents while using public transport. This includes how victims are treated and how their complaint is dealt with. This improved response aims to give victims increased confidence to approach transport providers and report hate crimes and incidents they may experience while using public transport. HCSDG Long Term Outcome 1 Individuals and communities who are vulnerable to, or victims of, hate crime feel safe and secure; Transport providers will be encouraged to demonstrate their commitment to tackling hate crime and incidents sensitively and effectively. This could include measures such as additional staff training and publicity campaigns on public transport, to provide increased confidence to the public that hate crimes on public transport will be dealt with robustly. 3.5 The Discussion Day outcomes are also aligned to the South East of Scotland Transport Partnership (SEStran) objectives which include Improving Safety for all road and transport users and Enhancing community life and social inclusion. 3.6 Discussions have taken place with various transport providers in Edinburgh and the following attended the event: Lothian Buses; Other major bus providers in Edinburgh; Edinburgh Trams; Network Rail; Major train companies servicing Edinburgh; and Main taxi providers in Edinburgh. Page 3

4 3.7 As a Council partner and key member of the ECSP and HCSDG, Police Scotland were also in attendance on the day, along with British Transport Police to answer any questions and provide clarification on police matters relating to hate crime on public transport. This also assisted with the Police Scotland aim to increase reporting of hate crimes. 3.8 The event was also attended by representatives of various equality groups in Edinburgh to ensure that the views of those using public transport are taken on board and suggestions for improving public safety considered. 3.9 The main purpose of the day was for transport providers across the city to develop a Transport Charter. The Charter aims to set out good practice for transport providers and seeks agreement on a number of areas such as hate crime reporting as well as preventing discrimination and harassment on public transport The main points from discussions that will be included in the draft Charter include: the importance of encouraging reporting of hate crime amongst victims and witnesses; having a robust complaints process which is effective and provides progress report to victims; Transport Charter promotion on transport itself, at transport hubs, on social media and through wifi use on public transport; publicising different reporting methods e.g. text, phone, in person, or later at Third Party Reporting Centres (some of this is already in place but there is room for improvement and a more joined up approach); the possibility of the reintroduction of a Transport Liaison Officer between the public transport companies and Police Scotland; and the Charter should be brief and punchy in message e.g. See it, report it! and reinforce the message that hate crime and indeed any crime, on public transport will not be tolerated On completion of the draft Charter, it is the intention that this will be presented to the ECSP for approval, and to this Committee for information and awareness raising. Decisions regarding how participants will sign up to the Charter are still to be finalised, however current thinking is that this could be by an online petition. Measures of success 4.1 The proportion of passengers who feel safe and secure while using public transport is increased. Page 4

5 4.2 The proportion of passengers who feel confident in reporting a hate crime on public transport is increased. 4.3 The proportion of victims who report a hate crime on public transport and are satisfied with the service they receive from transport providers is increased. The way in which this is measured is still to be finalised but it is likely that individual providers will be asked to carry out their own evaluations on how victims felt their complaint had been dealt with, or if there was the possibility to include a question on safety on public transport in one of the larger Edinburgh surveys, this could be considered. Financial impact 5.1 There are no financial implications arising from this report, as associated costs will be met through existing budgets. Risk, policy, compliance and governance impact 6.1 The HCSDG, a sub group of the ECSP, has committed to working towards increasing the safety of those vulnerable to hate crime and incidents on public transport. The development of the Transport Charter, as noted in this report, will support this. Equalities impact 7.1 The continued commitment to improve partnership working arrangements with transport providers promotes positive outcomes for victims of hate crime through the development of consistent and robust approaches to the issue. This in turn, helps to foster good relations between transport providers and all members of the public, including those who share protected characteristics. Sustainability impact 8.1 The stated outcomes of this event aim to increase the knowledge of reporting mechanisms, improve responses to these reports and thereby increase passengers feelings of public safety when using public transport. This will help to increase the use of public transport in Edinburgh generally, which will contribute to the Sustainable Edinburgh 2020 framework. Consultation and engagement 9.1 As part of the Discussion Day preparations, the HCSDG has consulted with the Council s Transport Forum to ensure that it is kept up to date with developments. The HCSDG will continue to liaise with the Transport Forum and will seek advice and assistance from it where required. 9.2 The current Chair and some members of the HCSDG has engaged in discussions with transport providers during the course of developing the Discussion Day agenda. The Discussion Day presents a valuable opportunity to Page 5

6 consult more widely with equalities groups and HCSDG members on the issues facing transport providers, and on ways to improve outcomes for victims. Background reading/external references None John Bury Acting Director of Services for Communities Contact: Kirsty Morrison, Community Protection Strategic Manager Tel: Links Coalition pledges Council outcomes Single Outcome Agreement Appendices P32 Develop and strengthen local community links with the police CO5 Our children and young people are safe from harm or fear of harm, and do not harm others within their communities CO15 The public is protected CO21 Residents, visitors and businesses feel that Edinburgh is a safe city CO23 Well engaged and well informed Communities and individuals are empowered and supported to improve local outcomes and foster a sense of community SO4 Edinburgh s communities are safer and have improved physical and social fabric Appendix 1- Attendee List Page 6

7 Appendix 1 Attendees at Speak Up For Safety On Public Transport The following organisations had representatives at the event, along with individual members of the public: Lothian Buses SEStran Edinburgh & Lothian Regional Equality Council Police Scotland Edinburgh University Students Association Edinburgh Gambian Association LGBT/Transgender Group Edinburgh Community Safety Partnership Transport and Environment Committee/ Transport for Edinburgh City of Edinburgh Council Hate Crime Strategic Development Group Perryman Bus Disability History Scotland People First Scotland Coalition for Racial Equality Midlothian Council St Andrews University Network Rail The Wellcoming First Scotland Trust Housing Association African Arts group Lothian MSP Places for People Edinburgh Chinese Community Network Rail Page 7

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