04The number of hate crimes reported to police across the country’s transport network has doubled over the past five years.
Religious hate crimes on the railways, tubes and buses increased almost five-fold since 2013, while homophobic incidents saw a 200 per cent rise.
British Transport Police (BTP) figures, obtained by The Independent through a freedom of information request, showed faith-linked attacks more than quadrupled from 64 in 2013 to 294 last year.
The number of gay, lesbian or bisexual victims on the road and rail network trebled from 139 to 416, while race hate crimes jumped from 1,453 to 2,566 over the five-year period. Only disability hate crimes on public transport fell.
The figures chime with Home Office data released last year which showed hate crimes across England and Wales had jumped by almost a third in just a year.
In both sets of figures, spikes were witnessed after major events such as the murder of Lee Rigby in 2013, the Brexit vote in 2016 and last year’s Manchester Arena and London Bridge attacks.
BTP, which has suffered cuts to funding and staffing levels, said the majority of reported hate crimes were verbal rather than physical attacks.
The issue of hate crime on public transport has been in the spotlight since Transport for London was forced to apologise to the singer, Will Young, after he complained that a bus driver subjected him to homophobic abuse.
In another case on the capital’s transport network, student Will Mayrick was placed in a headlock and left struggling to breathe by two attackers on a Jubilee line train who forced him to apologise for being gay.
And BTP launched an investigation last month after a young couple were filmed being subjected to racist abuse on a train in east London.