The video, labeled “My tram experience,” shows a woman with a toddler sitting on her lap firing repeated expletives and racial slurs at passengers of ethnic minorities.
“What’s this?” she said, looking around the tram. “A load of f***ing black people and Polish.”
A female passenger told the ranting woman to respect the children on board in an attempt to stifle her expletive rants. But the riled woman angrily pointed out that she herself was sitting with a young child on her lap.
She continued, questioning the same female passenger where she was from and if she was really British.
“Are you British?” she shouted. “You ain’t British, you’re black.”
The passenger gave an angry reply, saying she was British.
The shaky but coherent footage appeared to have been taken covertly by a passenger standing opposite the woman, most probably by a mobile phone camera.
On Monday, a 34-year-old woman was questioned by police on suspicion of a racially aggravated public-order offence. The woman was from South London’s Croydon area and is believed to match the description of the woman who had boarded the tram from Croydon to Wimbledon.
Before the arrest, a statement from a British Transport Police spokesperson read: ‘The video posted on YouTube and Twitter has been brought to our attention and our officers have launched an investigation.
“At present it is not entirely clear which tram stops the offence took place between and when it occurred. As a result we need anyone who witnessed this incident, or with any information that could assist our investigation ─ including the identity of the woman ─ to contact us.
“We will not tolerate racism in any form on the rail network and will do everything in our power to locate the person responsible.”
The video has racked up nearly 1.9 million views on YouTube, where it was first posted, and more than 65,000 comments so far, with many expressing dismay at her views and prompting debates on racial multiculturalism in Britain.
One commenter wrote: “This woman makes me sick, you will always find some people in every nation who are like parasites. That doesn’t mean you label all legal immigrants the same. She is ridiculous. Imagine the British economy without outsiders! I just hope this doesn’t tarnish the image of Brits as unthinking and prejudiced people. And yes, I pity her child.”
Another remarked: “About to welcome the world for London 2012 and this is the attitude of some of our citizens? A disgrace to our country.”
A new video emerged on Tuesday of a different woman, seemingly British, spouting racism on a train also to fellow passengers, who were speaking a foreign language.
“You’re in my country now, speak my (expletive) language!” she screamed at people sitting next to her.
Twitter users are encouraging the spread of the second video on social media sites so that it can be brought to the attention of the British police and for this woman to be traced.