A relaunched national police website should make it easier for disabled people to report disability hate crime to their local force.
The True Vision site now allows victims of hate crime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to report offences online in greater detail, making it easier for police forces to investigate.
The site includes a “secure online reporting facility” that automatically distributes reports to the relevant police force, information about hate crime and why it is important to report it, and links to organisations offering support.
Figures released last December show there were 1,402 disability hate crimes recorded across England, Wales and Northern Ireland during 2009, the first full year since police forces started collecting figures.
But there were huge variations between different forces, with three claiming they had not recorded a single disability hate crime in the entire year.
Marije Davidson, public affairs manager for RADAR, welcomed the relaunch and “any initiative that makes it easier for disabled people to report disability hate crime”.
But she added: “However, if it is not backed up with support for disabled victims of crime in their community it is just an exercise in window dressing.”
Assistant chief constable Drew Harris, hate crime lead for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: “We have a particular challenge to increase the reporting of hate crimes that target disabled people and True Vision offers specific advice for disabled people and links to organisations who can offer advocacy and support to those who do not wish to approach the police directly.
“Only by increasing reporting can we gain a better understanding of the extent of hate crime and it is for this reason that I urge victims and witnesses to use the True Vision website and to continue to come forward so we can bring the perpetrators to justice.”
3 February 2011