Call for information on disability hate crime schemes
Today the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities launches a survey to address the kinds of disability hate crime schemes or projects currently operating in the UK.
People with learning disabilities are long-standing targets of disability hate crime and harassment, and despite a reported 18% increase in hate crimes to the police in the years 2014-15, the number of reported disability hate crimes is still very small.
In response to this there have been numerous initiatives and schemes developed with the aim of either reducing disability hate crime, supporting people to report it and obtain support after the incident, or for others such as police forces or housing associations to be more responsive and identify such incidents earlier on.
Even though there has been an encouraging emergence of such schemes across the UK, there are few opportunities for learning to be shared across communities and other areas or rolled out more widely. That’s why the Foundation is investigating what works best for people with learning disabilities.
The investigation will work closely with the Foundation’s disability hate crime reference group, made up of people with learning disabilities who take the role of co-researchers.
Richard, a member of the reference group said of the investigation:
"Everyone has the right to live in safety, with dignity and respect. This shouldn’t be happening anymore. There should be strong communities so that people don’t feel threatened and we all have a part to play in that. We need to be talking to each other and sharing information about how to best support people."
Janette McCormick, Deputy Chief of Cheshire Police and the National Police Chiefs Council lead for disability issues said:
"I urge those of you who run such schemes or projects to complete this survey. This is the first survey of its kind and it is really important to find out what schemes work for people with learning disabilities. Anecdotal evidence suggests people with disabilities put up with abuse and harassment on such a regular basis it becomes the norm, which may explain why we receive less reported incidents for this group of people. We want this to stop and by completing this survey, we will get a better picture of where people go to for support when they are victims of hate crime."
The Foundation is calling on those with knowledge of running schemes to respond to an online survey by April 29th. The Foundation will gather evidence of good practice and effective programmes which either reduce incidences of hate crime or support people with learning disabilities who have experienced these issues. The findings of the investigation will be disseminated nationally to promote wider adoption of effective approaches against disability hate crime.