A 69-year old woman claims she was abused by a group of football fans while travelling on a train from Bristol to Exeter, sparking a police investigation.
The incident took place on Saturday (February 26) after Bristol Rovers played Exeter City at the Memorial Stadium, reported Devon Live. The woman says she was abused by a group of Exeter fans, with British Transport Police (BTP) launching an investigation into reports of a “hate crime and anti-social behaviour”.
According to the BBC, the woman said: “I was frightened and nervous for my safety. They thought I was fair game, they were jeering, they were uncivilised thugs.”
Exeter City Football Club said in a statement: “We were disappointed to hear of the alleged poor and unacceptable behaviour by a small group of supporters on a train on their way home from Bristol on Saturday. Whilst we cannot take responsibility for the behaviour of supporters outside of the football grounds, we would like to remind all supporters to think about how they are behaving and how that effects people around them.”
British Transport Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information, especially those on the 7.45pm Bristol Temple Meads to Exeter St David’s service, to come forward. In a statement, they said preventing and tackling hate crime is a “BTP priority” and that it takes incidents of this nature “extremely seriously”.
The statement said: “We’re proud that our officers and staff come from all walks of life and we believe everyone has the right to travel safely. We won’t tolerate behaviour where someone is targeted because of who they are or made to feel uncomfortable on their journey.”
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