Police investigating alleged racism incident by bus driver in Leeds city centre

West Yorkshire Police and First Bus have confirmed they are making enquiries after a woman alleged she overheard racist abuse by a bus driver in Leeds city centre.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 4:45 pm

Claire Hoang, 40, told the YEP she had been visiting Leeds with her young son on Saturday April 17.

Claire - who lives in Manchester - said she sat at a bus stop in the city centre with her son while he ate an ice cream.

The pair had been shopping in town as a birthday treat for Claire's son.

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Police investigating alleged racism incident by bus driver in Leeds city centre

However, Claire was left stunned after overhearing a discussion between a First Bus driver and a woman stood at the bus stop - allegedly discussing the origin of Covid-19.

She claimed that the comments linked Chinese people with the spread of the virus.

She said that she confronted the bus driver about the statement but did not receive an apology.

Claire claimed the ordeal had left her son "terrified".

She explained: "I was sat at the bus stop with my son.

"The driver of the bus that was stationary was speaking to a woman.

"The driver started talking about Covid.

"I said what I had heard was disgraceful.

"I was still shaking afterwards as we went around the shops."

Claire said the incident had "tarnished" her trip to Leeds.

She reported the incident to both the police and First Bus.

She said she did not want the driver to be sacked for the alleged actions but wanted to raise awareness of the incident.

Both WYP and First Bus were approached for comment by the YEP.

A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police said: "We have recorded a racially-aggravated public order offence in relation to an incident in Leeds, on April 17.

"Enquiries are ongoing.

"The Leeds District hate crime coordinator has been informed to offer support to the victim."

First Bus also confirmed they were investigating the incident and would "not tolerate racial abuse".

A spokesperson for First West Yorkshire said: “We will not tolerate racial abuse or discrimination by any of our employees and are now conducting an investigation into this alleged incident.”