Articles and Reports

Hate Crime statistics 2015/2016

I am writing in a very personal response to the new figures by saying that it is both a relief and a sadness to see the substantial increase in recorded disability hate crime in the latest government report.  https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/hate-crime-england-and-wales-2015-to-2016
It is important to note that there has been an increase of 107% for disability hate crimes recorded between the first figures in 2011/2 – 1,748  2012/3 – 1,911  2013/4 – 2,020  2014/15 – 2,515  and 2015/16 3,629.
It is significant that we see an increasing confidence that disabled people both can and are reporting hate crime, which may suggest improved identification of what is and is not a hate crime in a historically low reported category. Of course we must accept that it is possible that some of the increase may be due to an escalation in actual criminal hate behaviour which is not unexpected in an increasingly hostile society, but I can say that there is increased confidence in reporting through joint work, and for example our 3rd party centre in Preston is recording an average of 8 cases per month, over an 18 month period. The major point is that many of these are of the ‘lower level’ order which although noted and logged in our procedure, are often dealt within a community status, and in some respects are working in a crime prevention category.
In terms of Disability Hate Crime, we have seen no significant spike of reports in the EU vote aftermath. This frankly we would not have expected as the ‘disability’ agenda is not so politically volatile in that respect. The ongoing issue of benefit cheat is no worse or better than pre the vote.
Having made these points, we are sadly identifying some serious gaps in the system, so that for example, we have a lady who had her case properly logged by the police force in her area, but unfortunately she was offered no signposting for additional support and as a result has had acts which have made her scared of her neighbours therefore making it worse. In the end we at the network have found an advocacy group to assist her. So we still need to ensure that each of us don’t ‘just do our bit’ and actually make things worse.
Finally of course, we do need far better use of the existing available elements of law to ensure full justice for disabled people, as the lack of consistency in sentencing and the abysmal use by the judiciary of s146 of the Criminal Justice act is almost laughable if it wasn’t so serious.
We will continue our fight.

EHRC hate crime report – 2016

Here is a link to the Mark A. Walters and Rupert Brown with Susann Wiedlitzka, University of Sussex, report which was published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission on 29 July 2016.

The report looks at the causes and motivations of hate crime based on the five protected characteristics covered by current hate crime law:

  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • race
  • religion
  • sexual orientation

It gives an overview of hate crime evidence to inform criminal justice agencies in their approach, with thoughts from the law, policy and social science.

PDF of report

 

Also we attach links to

When prejudice turns into discrimination and unlawful behaviour (blog by Verena Brähler, Equality and Human Rights Commission, 29 July 2016)

In the tense aftermath of the Brexit vote, it’s the job of all public bodies to take on hate crime and prejudice (blog by Marc Verlot, Equality and Human Rights Commission writing for Civil Service World, 29 July 2016)

Discrimination and hate crime in Britain: Understanding, measuring, and tackling it (blog by Hazel Wardrop, Research Manager at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, 1 August 2016)

 

A Simple fact sheet on Disability Hate Crime

Disability Hate Crime Fact Sheet

 

Disability Hate crime

A hate crime is any criminal offence or hostile incident (not a full crime) that is motivated by hostility or prejudice based upon the victim’s disability or perceived disability:

Reporting Disability Hate Crime.

Disability Hate Crime is massively underreported as many people don’t know who to talk to or how to report incidents. These comprise:-

  • physical attacks such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti and arson
  • threat of attack including offensive letters, abusive or obscene telephone calls, groups hanging around to intimidate, and unfounded, malicious complaints
  • verbal abuse, insults or harassment – taunting, offensive leaflets and posters,abusive gestures, dumping of rubbish outside homes or through letterboxes, and bullying at school or in the workplace .

How to Report

 There are many ways to report hate crime or incidents

  • If the matter involves an attack or serious crime – ring 999
  • If it is a lesser incident such as verbal abuse, or others mentioned ring 101
  • If you can get to or belong to a disability information or support organisation or club tell them and ask for help. This is known as 3rd party reporting.
  • On a computer either you or someone you trust can contact True vision http://www.report-it.org.uk/report_a_hate_crime and report on line.
  • If incidents are also reported, they may provide police with useful information which can be used to avoid future crimes.

 

What about getting a court sentence increase for hate crimes?

The Criminal justice system takes hate crime very seriously. The police and CPS disability hate crime flags (markers) are applied when someone, whether they are the victim, witness, police officer, prosecutor, or any other person, thinks that a crime is a disability hate crime.

This ensures that the police and CPS apply correct policies and handle cases appropriately. However, in order for the court to accept that an offence is a hate crime, there must be sufficient evidence of hostility based on the above factors presented to it at the sentencing stage.

Where there is sufficient evidence, section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act

2003 provide that where an offence is motivated by hostility based on

disability or perceived disability, the court must state this as an aggravating factor at the sentencing stage.