Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

Men accuse TfL of ‘failing to investigate anti-gay tube abuse’

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. les pilgrim 2 Nov 2010, 8:20pm

    If someone makes a compliant about bad customer service or rudeness,it is not up to the customer or the Company to have an independant witness.The Manager incharge should offer an apolige for the bad service the customer received and investigate the customers compliant.London Transport leave something to be desired in this case re customer relationships

  2. Quote from the article:

    “…staff member cannot be prosecuted unless there is an independent witness, because data protection laws prohibit them from listening to the sound from CCTV recordings.”

    Well… that’s a lie. Data protection means that the data cannot be used in an innapprioate manner. For example: it cannot be sold to a third party.

    A criminal investigation is such a case where using the data is valid under data protection laws

    – Matty

  3. de Villiers 2 Nov 2010, 9:25pm

    > data protection laws prohibit them from listening to the sound from CCTV recordings.

    That is not correct. Really. It is not correct. No provision of the Data Protection Act prohibits this.

  4. I completely agree with what the lawyer from Russell, Walker and Jones has said. What TfL has is doing is completely unreasonable and I hope that these men take legal action.

    Moronic bigots pissing me off.

  5. I wonder what Ben Summerskill makes of this story. After all he doesn’t believe in anti-harassment legislation – well not to protect LGB people at any rate.

  6. This story is a perfect example of how the LGB media totally fails to inform its readers of their rights, and their legal position. I can only imagine that the writers have no idea either.

    Firstly, discrimination is not a criminal offence. It is nothing to do with the police. It is a civil matter. You have to take a case to a county court yourself, unless you can get the Equality and Human Rights Commission to take it for you, which is unlikely, because they only take cases that match a predetermined (but secret) legal strategy.

    The solicitor quoted sounds like she was making it up as she went along.

    Secondly, although they come on as if they are all one body, the British Transport Police (BTP) are not part of TfL. They are an independent police force.

    So, in this case, a gay man was hit. That’s assault, which is a criminal matter and therefore a matter for the police. It was on a train, so the local police force was BTP. It it was out of homophobia hate might be added to the charges. It would be down to BTP to investigate. If they fail a private prosecution is possible. Or a complaint to the Police Complaints Commission.

    Separately its an assault whilst receiving a service from TfL, so that raises the possibility of a civil case for sexual orientation discrimination by TfL under the Equality Act, but only if they have not done everything reasonably possible to prevent such discrimination. A court would probably feel that controlling every carriage was impossible and dismiss such a case.

    So the victims reported the assault to a TfL employee, who should have called the BTP and done everything to ensure that these TfL customers enjoyed the service to which they were entitled. Instead he insulted them and tried to involve other staff in the same. So that’s more discrimination whilst receiving a service from TfL. Again the issue would be, in a civil case, if TfL had done everything reasonably possible to prevent such discrimination. With at least 3 witnesses, and no apparent fear of discipline, a court would probably find against TfL, if they didn’t settle out of court.

    But investigating the response of TfL staff would be nothing to do with BTP, because it isn’t a criminal matter and they are not part of TfL. So CCTV footage, unless it showed the initial assault, or identified the assailant, was irrelevant at that point. It might, instead be, used in a civil case, or rather be a reason why TfL would settle any such case out of court.

    The excuses involving the Data Protection Act were probably just attempts to fob off people who didn’t understand that it wasn’t a police matter.

    So, to recap: if you get discriminated against in connection with employment or goods or services it is nothing to do with the police. Its against the law but not a crime, its not criminal. You get advice and possibly take it to a tribunal (if its employment) or a county court, (if its goods or services). The police should be involved if there is fear of, or actual damage, to people or property. That’s criminal.

    Is the distinction too fine for LGB people to understand? Women and ethnic minorities don’t seem to have any problem with it.

  7. SO let me get this right- at least three witness’ with cctv recording but innsufficient evidence. WTF.
    Guys take these homophobes to the cleaners if you can , this is just not acceptable in this day and age, what message does it give to the victims and the criminals.
    The loonies really are running the asylum!

    Can any gay organisations help these guys fight their case..?

  8. Louie Mince 3 Nov 2010, 12:05am

    TFL are too busy trying to nab fare dodgers and go on strike at the drop of a hat to pay any attention to a serious crime. Its deeply tiring to the mind to think these same people (TFL employees) will go on TV and claim their human rights are being violated by long working hours, blah blah, unpaid overtime and low wages blah blah and not give a flying **** about anyone else.

  9. Jock S. Trap 3 Nov 2010, 9:19am

    I really hope these men get justice. Such vile acts cannot go ignored. To knowingly have the evidence then not allowing it’s use beggars beliefs. Would his happen also if it was a racist attack? or if a woman had be attacked? a disabled person? a child? No of course it wouldn’t. Either that or the CCTV is pointless. Yet again being gay is just being used as an easy, somewhat deranged excuse to allow bullying.

    Maybe someone should remind Tower Hamlets and some of it’s police of the Equality Bill and indeed discrimination Laws. The putting up of posters claming “Gay-Free Zone” and the actions of certain police who refuse to get involved with victims of homophobic abuse deeming it ‘their own fault’ is unacceptable.

    Please remember who a certain Mr Ken Livingstone backed as Mayor in Tower Hamlets!! Indeed who he willingly broke ranks with the Labour Party to canvass for. Say what you like about Boris but at least he doesn’t back or invite Muslim extremists.

  10. @Louie

    Erm, TFL arn’t the people on strike. It’s the unions. Knowing many homos who work for TFL, you would be suprised just how much TFL have little regard for your safety and would love a situation where all commuters were merely cattle and drivers were minimum paid drones with no care for your well being.

    But the like so many others the murdoch owned corporate media has trained you to hate anyone with the courage to stand up and strike and be an obedient slave – look at france right now compared to us. We have become a very selfish society.

    This response from TFL does not suprise me at all.

  11. Paul, London 3 Nov 2010, 4:03pm

    @ dave – It seems like the example given in the article is discrimination and victimisation – I’ve told you at length before in several other forums on here, you are *wrong* about your views on harassment protection – Deal with it.

  12. oatc – I’m not sure that the TfL member who called these men f***ing poofs is only ‘guilty’ of discrimination and therefore nothing to do with the police. Couldn’t the BTP/CPS have gone for a criminal prosecution as a Public Order offence [sect 4a 5?] – His remarks, while less ‘serious’ than the assault, caused the victims alarm and distress in a public place [i.e the tube station]. The fact that the perpetrator was a member of staff on duty at the time shouldn’t make any difference?!

  13. I would disagree with you Peter. Hate crime is harassing, victimisaing, intimidating or abusing someone because of their race, faith, religion, disability or because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered.

    A hate crime is defined as: A crime where the perpetrator’s prejudice against any identifiable group of people is a factor in determining who is victimised.

    had this guy said Fuc**** N word it would not be acceptable.

    If the police and other want the LBGT community to report crime then they MUST investigate and and gain our trust. These kind of story do nothing to build our relationship with the police and others.

    I find it very sad that so few gay men seen to care for the safety of the LGBT community. Next time it may be you. It can be very scary and affect the person abused and others for a long time. its not not acceptable to think it OK to abuse gay people, TFL give the green light to their employees to say its Ok we will protect you.

    Stonewall award for TFL – Stonewall don’t represent me.

    Gav

  14. Paul — notice the wording in the story “It is against the law for businesses to allow their staff to subject service users to homophobic abuse or any act of harassment related to sexual orientation that violates their dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive atmosphere for them.”

    So you think the word ‘harassment’ mischaracterises what happened? In my opinion it’s precisely appropriate in these circumstances. And I think many would agree.

    Also I would refer you back to the workplace definition of harassment repeated on Stonewall’s own website. The link was posted on our earlier discussion, but has been moved in the last day or two and can now be found here:

    http://www.stonewall.org.uk/at_work/workplace_discrimination/default.asp

    Paul — I think Ben Summerskill has, characteristically, done nobody any favours with his evidence to the Equality Bill Committee. You never explained, in our previous discussion, why the UK should treat homophobic prejudice differently to racist prejudice.

    At one time Stonewall did very valuable work in the cause of equality. I would like to see it return to those days, but unfortunately a lot of harm has been done by its recent mistakes.

  15. Sections 29 and 35 of the DPA apply to release the data: http://timtrent.blogspot.com/2010/11/men-accuse-tfl-of-failing-to.html There is more to this than meets the eye.

  16. Peter:
    > oatc – I’m not sure that the TfL member who called these men
    > f***ing poofs is only ‘guilty’ of discrimination and therefore
    > nothing to do with the police. Couldn’t the BTP/CPS have gone
    > for a criminal prosecution as a Public Order offence [sect 4a
    > 5?] – His remarks, while less ‘serious’ than the assault, caused
    > the victims alarm and distress in a public place [i.e the tube
    > station]. The fact that the perpetrator was a member of staff on
    > duty at the time shouldn’t make any difference?!

    Doubtless a suitably concerned police officer could have taken any of a range of actions against the TfL employee. But isn’t the bottom line whether anyone has ever yet been convicted for using such words? Have the police, the CPS, or the courts yet moved far enough to understand the threat they convey? Would a BTP officer who came down on such language, in the closed world in which transport staff and transport police cohabit, be ridiculed by his colleagues from then on, and fear the denial of assistance the next time it is needed?

    At least there could be not question that TfL’s, civil, non-discrimination obligations had been breached and some form of action would result from following that path.

    The question of just what homophobic or transphobic language in a public place should trigger action by a police officer seems very much open, given that street hate preachers have not been convicted. I certainly find some of them, and the atmosphere surrounding them, very threatening, as is surely intended.

  17. All those saying that the TFL workers comments are a civil matter are wrong to say comments of that nature in a public place would be a crime under Section 5 of the Public Order Act and the police should investigate and record it as a Hate Crime.
    TFL are wrong saying Data Protection Prevents them checking the sound on the CCTv it is in fact the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 that does this (RIPA) this is the act that councils and various bodies incl the police use to (as the media puts it) spy on us. TFL would have to obtain a court order I believe to use such evidence however the police could always seize it and use as evidence in a crime.

  18. i would like to let the dear judgers know that they listent to the people have been taken to the court!because i am one of that people. and also i have got couple of big reasons that i couldn’t puplish it! i plead quilt becauase i know that you can not win against the law or the court> that is why i cencel my appointement and beccome criminal record. unfortunately i defeat that game,but i would like to say that the inespectors that searching the people please and please whatch your action because you are killing some one’s future thanks

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews.co.uk. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all