'Pickpockets and Gypsies' warning on London Midland train

Telford Central station Image copyright Google Earth
Image caption The announcement was made when the train pulled into Telford Central station

A train company is investigating after passengers were told to "be aware of pickpockets and Gypsies" when getting off a train at a station in Shropshire.

The comment, which was made over the train's speaker system at Telford Central station, was recorded by a passenger on their mobile phone.

London Midland said it had started an internal investigation into the incident which happened on Saturday.

It said it was "deeply sorry to anyone who was offended by the announcement".

The company said it had not received any official complaints about the incident, which happened on the 17:25 GMT Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury service.

'Very offensive'

A video obtained by the Shropshire Star newspaper shows as the train prepares to stop, the announcement comes over the public address system which says: "Telford Central - please be aware of pickpockets and Gypsies".

The message is then met with cheers from passengers on the train.

Damian Le Bas, editor of the Travellers Times magazine, said: "In the first instance this is very likely to offend many Romany Gypsies, who are protected under the Race Relations Act of 2004.

"I don't agree with the use of certain words being banned but it is an ethnic word and to juxtapose it with pickpockets, which suggests criminality, is very offensive."

A spokeswoman for London Midland said: "We do not tolerate comments of this nature being made by anyone on a London Midland train, and a full internal investigation is being carried out."

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