Police have charged a woman after footage of a racist rant on board an east London tram was uploaded to YouTube.
34-year-old Emma West of New Addington, Croydon, has been charged of a racially aggravated public order offence in connection with the video. Ms West will appear before Croydon Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
The footage (contains language which viewers may find disturbing) is said to have been filmed on the Croydon to Wimbledon Tramlink route and has now been viewed over two million times after it went viral on Monday. The name of the video, 'My Tram Experience', trended on twitter as thousands watched the clip on Monday night.
The video shows a woman, child in arms, complaining about the racial makeup of the UK. “What’s this country come to? A load of ****ing Polish,” she is heard to say. “Britain is nothing now, Britain is f*** all.”
The woman then goes on to offend several of the passengers on board who look on. One passenger reminds her that there are children on the tram to which she replies: “Yeah I’ve got a kid here.”
When racism can get you arrested
The Crown Prosecution Service explains that “racially aggravated offences are offences where the offender shows or is driven by racial hostility”. The racial aspect of the incident would heighten any possible outcome of the arrest.
“When racial motivation or hostility is proved to be a factor in a criminal offence this increases the seriousness of the offence and results in a heavier sentence,” the CPS states.
“For racially aggravated offences, the maximum penalty is higher than the maximum for the basic offence without the element of racial aggravation.”
A British Transport Police spokesman said: "The video posted on YouTube and Twitter has been brought to our attention and our officers have launched an investigation.
"At present it is not entirely clear which tram stops the offence took place between and when it occurred. As a result we need anyone who witnessed this incident, or with any information that could assist our investigation, including the identity of the woman, to contact us.
"We will not tolerate racism in any form on the rail network and will do everything in our power to locate the person responsible."