TRANSPORT police have slammed a “despicable” group of yobs who racially abused two Asian women on a train.
The women were abused as they travelled between York and Hartlepool on the Grand Central train service.
Police say the group also abused other members of the public on the train.
Officers from British Transport Police (BTP) have now launched an investigation in to the incident.
Sergeant Nigel Ashworth, of BTP, said: “A group of around 20 men are reported to have boarded the service at York.
“Throughout the journey they shouted racial abuse at two Asian females onboard, they also abused other passengers on the service, including the parents of a child who contacted police to complain.
“The group got off at Hartlepool and are believed to be from the east Durham area.
“We have launched an investigation to attempt to identify those responsible and are studying CCTV at the station.
“Racist abuse of any sort is unacceptable, but the nature of the insults levelled at passengers in the carriage was 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.”
The incident happened on Saturday, June 18, on board the 4.48pm Grand Central Kings Cross to Sunderland train service, as it travelled between York and Hartlepool between 6.40pm and 8pm.
Sgt Ashworth added: “I would like to appeal to anyone who may have been travelling on this busy service and who may have witnessed the incident, or seen the group of men, to contact us.”
Anyone with information is asked to call BTP on free phone 0800 405040, quoting incident 532 of 18-06-2011, or call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.