Help victims of attacks on transport seek justice by keeping CCTV for 30 days
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I was racially assaulted on the 24 bus in London in March. I was punched severely on the right side of my body and had abuse shouted at me for being an African-Caribbean woman. No witnesses stepped in to my aid or checked if I was okay. The driver simply closed the doors as my attacker fled.
Since it happened I have tried to get justice. But because of a bus company policy the CCTV footage has been destroyed and I have been left with no evidence and no way for the police to find my attacker.
Straight after the incident I panically reported it to 101 via an online form, noted the bus number, location, and my Oyster card. 3 days later, I was assigned an officer to handle my case. Unfortunately they made a mistake taking down the details of my case. It meant that the CCTV footage was requested wrongly, delaying the process.
It turns out transport companies set their own timeframes for authorities and individuals to collect their CCTV footage. In my case on an Arriva bus, only 10 days was given to retrieve footage. By the time, the police error was realised, the timeframe was missed and the footage had been lost.
Without this, I’ve been left with no case. No way to get justice. Only a shoulder injury which I may require physiotherapy for and the knowledge that my attacker is still present near my place of work.
Even if there hadn’t been an error, a timeframe like 10 days is not enough. Giving victims such a small window to come forward, given emotional or physical trauma they may face, gives barely any time for recovery. It shouldn't be a choice between recovery and justice. And as paying customers of these networks, we need to be ensured that we are safe.
I’m calling on the Transport Minister to make big transport companies across the UK - like Arriva, Stagecoach and London Underground store CCTV footage for 30 days.
Limits like these mean communities especially BAME communities lose faith in their local police forces when justice does not prevail. Police forces too are left powerless to gather the evidence needed.
I hope this petition will assist the many other victims of violence to secure justice.
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