News

‘Hate Crime – Lancashire Leads the Way’

From: Melanie Close (CEO) Disability Equality (nw) Tel: 01772-556683

Leading Disability Rights campaigner, Stephen Brookes MBE told a recent conference that Lancashire is leading the way on dealing with hate crime across the county. He noted that Lancashire Constabulary are performing particularly well in comparison to their counterparts across the country and especially with their innovate work with third sector organisations.
Stephen was speaking at a Disability Hate Crime Conference that was facilitated by Preston-based charity, Disability Equality (nw) last month. The conference was organised to raise awareness of hate crime particularly as disability hate crime is still under-reported despite the best efforts of the police, campaigners and disability organisations.
Stephen is the Co-ordinator of the Disability Hate Crime Network, Disability Rights UK Ambassador and a member of the Lancashire CPS Scrutiny Panel. He has a long association with Disability Equality and Lancashire police to further the rights of disabled people. He said, ‘We still need to create confidence in reporting hostility and hate crimes towards disabled people but I am very encouraged at the work being undertaken in Preston and other parts of Lancashire. The police have developed a pro-active approach to developing alternative ways that people can report hate crime and Disability Equality was one of the first ‘third-party reporting centres’ from which there has been much to learn’.

Detective Chief Superintendent, Sue Clark and Hate Crime Lead for Lancashire Constabulary said, ‘We are very fortunate have the support and specialisms that third sector organisations like Disability Equality provide to victims. What starts off as minor incidents of hostility or harassment can all too often escalate into serious hate crimes towards disabled people, that can have dire consequences.’

The conference, held at Plungington Community Centre, attracted around 60 disabled people, carers, disability organisations and hate crime victims. There were lots of activities and role play involving disabled people as a varied way of getting the disability hate crime awareness message across.
Disability Equality Chief Executive, Melanie Close said, ‘Everyone in society has the right to live in safety and secure in the knowledge that help is available when needed. Far too often disabled people are seen as an ‘easy target’ by perpetrators and are equally vulnerable to falling through the support services ‘net’. It is vital that disabled people and those around them recognise disability hate crime and how to report it – that is why third party reporting centres are so important to providing an open door and welcome to anyone who is worried about hate crime’.

In an emergency call 999
Call the police on 101 or report on line via True Vision at www.report-it.org.uk
Or visit www.lancashire.police.uk for details of Third-party reporting centres
Independent Living Services, Disability Hate Crime, Managed Accounts, Information and Advice drop-ins, Digital Inclusion and Disability Awareness Training and are based at 103 Church Street Preston PR1 3BS.
www.disability-equality.org.uk
Registered Charity no: 1114622 Registered Company no. 5506903

Community Hate Crime group funding for 2017/18

I am pleased to announce that the second year of the hate crime community demonstration projects scheme has launched, and the application window is now open.

Could I please ask you share the link below with anyone who might be interested in applying for the scheme.  All applications must be submitted online by the 15 September 2017.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/preventing-hate-crime-funding-for-community-projects

 

Newsletter Summer 2017

Compiled by Katharine Quarmby, here is the Summer 2017 news letter

News July

 

The use of s146

s.146 Disability Hate Crime
My name is Jamie Briscoe; I’m a disability law specialist, with a particular area of interest within the legislation that surrounds the area of hate crime – in particular disability hate crime. As well as being a voluntary member of the Crown Prosecution Service’s Local Scrutiny Involvement Panel (LSIP) for Lancashire, I’m also a training consultant delivering training based on disability hate crime. I have been asked by the Disability Hate Crime Network to write a piece on the legislation around this offence.
What is s.146 and how is it currently used  in law today?
This refers to Section 146 (s.146) of the Criminal Justice Act (CJA2003). When s.146 was introduced in April 2005. it did not bring with any new legislative powers, It is what is known as “a sentencing uplift”, rather than a new stand-alone offence.
What is a “sentencing uplift”?
A sentencing uplift is “time added” to a sentence by the court to a defendant convicted of a crime when they have been found guilty of an offence where s.146 may be applicable. I have taken a keen interest in s.146 and its meanings for a number of years.  I am of the opinion that since it came into force in April 2005 it has been very rarely used countrywide. I believe strongly that this is due to s.146 in its current form being difficult for the courts to understand and apply. In my experience that is one of the main reasons why we are not seeing very many DHC cases.
How could s.146 be improved?
I believe that a separate set of guidelines pertaining to Section 146, explaining when it should and should not be used should be issued. I do think that should such guidance be available across all relevant organisations then we might see the hate crime provisions being applied more effectively. Another area where I believe s.146 in its current form is failing, is in the lack of provision for the victims or potential victim(s) of disability hate crime. I feel in compiling this statement it would be wrong not to mention briefly the role police forces currently play in fighting hate crime. In general I think it must be said that the police do a brilliant overall job tackling hate crime in difficult times.
However I do think that one of the fundamental reasons why we’re not seeing many cases reported to the police is because an individual who may have been a victim of hate crime may not feel they are able to approach Police with their situation for a number of reasons. For instance, an individual may deem their particular circumstance “unworthy” of police intervention; or indeed they may choose to share their ordeal with someone else (their support worker, for example).
I am of the view that the police’s approach to disability hate crime has improved over the years since the implementation of s.146 in April 2005. I also have no doubt that disability hate crime will continue to be an upmost priority for some groups for many years to come.
Report by JT Briscoe s.146 (CJA2003) advisor & LSIP Panel  Member with Lancashire                                                    12/05/2015 Training Consultant Access Community Training Ltd Southport