Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, is supporting National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
A walk of solidarity in the west end of Newcastle marked the start of a series events that will encourage people to “spread love not hate”.
Nexus staff joined with the walk of solidarity at the Newcastle Eagles Basketball Arena along with partner organisations, schools, police, and community leaders.
Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “Hate crime is an issue for everybody in society and it is important that we play our part in helping to tackle it.
“I’m delighted that so many of our staff were able to go along to the walk of solidarity this week as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
“But it’s not just about a week, it’s about what we do every single day. At Nexus we have hate crime champions in the workplace so that our passengers and our staff can raise concerns.
“We’re working hard with the bus operators to improve reporting of hate crime to ensure that passengers have confidence using public transport services whoever they are, and at whatever time of day they want to travel.”
Hate Crime Awareness Week is a national week of action, which takes place every October to raise awareness of hate crime.
It aims to bring people together to stand in solidarity with those affected by hate crime, support them and raise awareness, as well as prevent hate crime in all its forms.
Hate crime is any crime targeted at a person because of prejudice towards their disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Local transport operators in the region, co-ordinated by Nexus, signed a Hate Crime Charter in October last year, committing to raising awareness and encouraging reporting among passengers and employees.
Nexus itself has recruited Hate Crime Champions across its services, including Metro, alongside staff training.
A poster campaign on Metro ran in partnership with the Home Office through winter 2018/19, and there are posters at bus stations. Nexus is supporting North East Pride and Sunderland Pride festivals as part of work to engage across communities.
Nexus has set up a new transport security forum for all operators which meets quarterly and includes monitoring of hate crime and initiatives to confront it.
Nexus also works alongside bus operators Stagecoach and Go North East, who have their own hate crime initiatives which include appointing hate crime champions and special training for bus drivers.