POLICE are appealing for witnesses following allegations of death-threats and a racially-motivated assault on a 60 year-old Portland bus driver.

Officers have issued a CCTV image of the suspect and are asking anyone with information to come forward.

According to police, the driver of the number 1 First bus stopped at Victoria Square, Portland, to allow passengers on. A man boarded the bus and went to sit down without paying for a ticket.

When the driver asked the man to pay his fare, he refused and became aggressive, using racially abusive language toward the driver. He also made threats to kill him. The offender then got up and started trying to grab the victim’s face and hands.

Another passenger then intervened, at which point the offender got off the bus.

The driver, a man aged in his 60s, did not suffer any injuries as a result of the assault. The incident took place at around 8.20pm on Tuesday January 28, police said.

Sergeant Rhiannon Stroud, of Dorset Police, said: “We have been continuing to investigate this incident, which has understandably left the victim shaken, and have made a number of enquiries to try and identify the man involved.

“Dorset Police is committed to tackling all forms of hate crime and is keen to encourage people to report it. It is a priority for us to ensure that victims of hate crimes or hate incidents are supported and appropriate actions are taken.”

“I am now issuing a CCTV image of a man I would like to speak to. I would urge anyone who knows who he is, or who witnessed the incident, to please get in touch.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55200014291. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.