- 2011 National Disabled Members' Conference
- 14 July 2011
This Conference is concerned about the level of hate crime aimed at disabled people. Any incident which is believed by the victim to be motivated by prejudice or hate is a hate incident. All hate crimes are hate incidents but not all hate incidents are hate crimes.
Although there is no legal definition of Disability Hate Crime the Association of Chief Police Officer (ACPO) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) agree that it can be defined as “any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person’s disability or perceived disability.”
Safety and security and the right to live free from fear and harassment are basic human rights. The CPS’s policy is to prosecute any hate crime fairly, firmly and robustly.
Despite this disabled people still experience from horrific disability hate crimes or live in fear of being targets of hate crime. MENCAP reported that three men were sentenced to just 80 hours community work for torturing a 17 year old youth with aspergers syndrome.
Many people such as black disabled members and others (who face multiple discrimination) are still afraid to report disability hate crime even though easier recording and reporting initiatives have been introduced to help learning disabled people who are often a target of these crimes.
We see examples of mistreatment of learning disabled people in care homes. In one case evidence showed some people believed that learning disabled people have little or no value! Is this due to desensitisation or institutional disability hate crime?
Research shows that nearly nine out of ten people with learning disabilities have been harassed or attacked in the last year. 32% say they experienced harassment or attacks on a daily or weekly basis and 23% had been assaulted. In extreme cases of disability hate crime people have been murdered because of their disabilities often after reporting less serious hate crimes that have not been dealt with effectively.
Conference calls upon National Disabled Members Committee to:
1.work with the NEC, branches and regions to forge better relations with councils, police, the CPS and other relevant organisations to raise awareness of disability hate crime;
2.Lobby Government to give the police and CPS powers to take meaningful action against disability hate crime: and
3.Produce guidance on how branches and regions can support disabled members to report disability hate crime.