Reported by Fife Today – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.

Police have launched an investigation after a group of teenagers reportedly racially abused two Asian bus passengers by accusing them of having the Coronavirus.

The incident reportedly happened on the Xplore 17 bus service at around 2.50pm after a man and woman boarded at the Forum Centre on Saturday afternoon.

A group of youths entered the service a few stops later before claiming the two Asian passengers were carriers of the deadly virus which has reportedly killed nearly 2,000 people in China.

The two adults are understood to have left the service after a verbal exchange took place, before reporting the incident to police.

A spokeswoman for the force added: “Police Scotland is currently investigating a report of a hate crime on the number 17 bus, as it travelled in the Pitkerro Road area of Dundee, around 2.50pm on Saturday, 15 February, 2020.

“Officers are looking to speak to a group of four youths, with one girl and one boy described as being aged 13 – 15.

“Anyone who was on the bus at the time, or who may have relevant information, is urged to contact police on 101 and quote incident 4234 of 15 February.”

A spokeswoman for Xplore confirmed the operator was aware of the matter and would be assisting police with their inquires if required.

She added: “”We’re aware of the incident and will assist Police Scotland in their investigations. We work closely with officers as part of our Safer Travel scheme and we won’t tolerate abuse or racism of any kind against our passengers or employees.”

Chief Inspector Coleen Wylie, for the police’s safer communities unit, said hate crime of any nature was “unacceptable”.

She said: “We monitor reports of hate crime and community tensions on a daily basis, as we’re aware of the impact and harm this kind of behaviour can have on individuals and communities. Hate crime of any nature is unacceptable and we will investigate every report.

“Police Scotland would always urge anyone who has been a victim of, or witness to, a hate incident to contact us by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency, or via one of our third party reporting organisations, the details of which can be found on the Police Scotland website.”


Fife Centre for Equalities Satement:

“We are saddened that an ill-informed minority are using the international health crisis as a pretext to racially attack innocent people. All forms of hate motivated harassments should not be tolerated. If you require assistance from Fife Centre for Equalities, please get in touch.”


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