Disabled people and disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) must do more to raise awareness of disability hate crime in their local areas, according to a new publication.
The online guide, published by the United Kingdom Disabled People’s Council (UKDPC) describes how to report a disability hate crime and where victims can find support.
It says disabled people should report any crimes they believe are related to their impairment, including harassment, theft, verbal abuse, physical assaults, arson, graffiti, offensive letters and malicious complaints.
The guide says: “The more people who do this the more records there will be of what we experience and then more and better plans will be made to deal with it.”
And it says that disabled people and DPOs can make a “huge difference locally and nationally by raising the issue of disability hate crime”.
Anne Novis, who leads on disability hate crime issues for UKDPC and collated the information in the guide, said it was important for DPOs and their allies to provide services, influence the way hate crime was dealt with, and join local partnerships involved in tackling hate crime, such as hate crime panels and crime reduction panels.
She said: “A lot of DPOs and individuals just don’t know where to start around this issue. They want to do work on it but they haven’t got any money so they don’t know how to get involved.”
The guide describes how DPOs can become “third party reporting sites”, taking reports of disability hate crime from disabled people and then passing them on to the police.
And it calls on disabled people to become involved with the police as independent advisors or community representatives, and to contact their local politicians to raise awareness about disability hate crime.
The guide also calls on disabled people and DPOs to take part in the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s inquiry into disability-related harassment.
6 July 2010