PORTLAND is no place for racism, say community figures who have reacted with shock to an attack on a bus driver on the island.

Police have been appealing for information after a man assaulted a 60-year-old bus driver and threatened to kill him during an unprovoked attack at Victoria Square.

Officers say the 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.

Cllr Sandy West, who represents the Underhill ward on Portland Town Council, urged anyone with information to come forward.

"I was quite gobsmacked when I heard this had happened on the island. There's no place for racism anywhere - especially on Portland. It's such a small place - if anyone knows anything I urge them to contact police, even if they call 101 anonymously.

"No-one should have to suffer any sort of discrimination here, and if someone gets away with it once it's going to happen again.

"Racial hatred cannot be tolerated. Let's get it nipped in the bud now."

The incident took place at around 8.20pm on Tuesday January 28.

The driver, a man aged in his 60s, did not suffer any injuries as a result of the assault.

Sergeant Rhiannon Stroud, of Dorset Police, said: “We have been continuing to investigate this incident, which has understandably left the victim shaken.

“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.”

Anyone with information is can 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.