Disability Hate Crime

Disability Hate Crime

The resources within this section of the website are the result of an affiliation between Disability Rights UK and the Disability Hate Crime Network (DHCN). The DHCN raises awareness of hate offences against disabled people and provides advice and support for victims and their associates. The Network can be found on Facebook by following this link:


Email: dhcn@mail.com

Why are Disability Rights UK affiliated with the DHCN and what do we hope to achieve?

Our affiliation will combine the specialist knowledge of the DHCN with the established reputation and campaigning strength of DRUK. Together, we hope to broaden awareness of hate crimes against disabled people and together to become the recognised go to hub of knowledge, expertise and development regarding disability hate crime. In time, we hope that this online resource will become a central discussion area, bringing together expertise and advice from across the UK in the fight against disability hate. We want to work with researchers, national agencies, the police and local and national government to discuss DHC and be a central knowledge base for these agencies to refer to. We will provide training opportunities and, in time, a professional Third-Party Reporting (TPR) centre for victims and their associates to report hate incidents and crimes against disabled victims.

The aspirations of our affiliation with DHCN are: -

  • To ensure that the victims of disability hate are always on the agenda of national and local government, the police, prosecutors and public service providers.
  • To build constructive, supportive relationships with national and local agencies to raise awareness of, and eventually irradicate, disability hate crime.
  • To provide quality training opportunities for increased awareness of DHC, the legislation protecting people from it and to suggest simple cost-effective solutions for combatting disability hate.
  • To become a central hub for the discussion of disability hate, its expertise, knowledge and research. A go to place for advice, discussion and the exchange of knowledge.
  • To establish a reporting centre for disability hate incidents and crimes where victims and their associates can be assured of a professional and supportive response.

What is a Hate Crime?

Hate Incidents are acts of hostility conducted against someone because they are in some way different.

Hate Crimes are the same as the above, except a crime has also been committed. For example, to block someone from using a priority seat because they have a disability may count as an Incident. But to do that and abuse them as well is a crime.

To abuse someone is a crime under the Public Order act 1986. But to abuse someone because of the following characteristics is an aggravated crime because the victims suffer greater psychological damage and the effects are likely to be prolonged. British law states that people are susceptible to Hate Incidents and Crimes because of their:

  • Race or ethnicity
  • Decision to change their gender
  • Sexual preferences, for example, being gay, lesbian, non-binary etc.
  • Religion
  • Disability

What is Disability Hate Crime (DHC)?

Disability Hate Crimes (DHC) are attacks against disabled people. These are often different from other hate offences in that these might be perpetrated by friends, family members or carers. This also means that disability hate crimes are less likely to be reported. Hostility against disabled people is happening in public, in the privacy of people’s homes and in care settings. The upset at such offences is not only immediate in that the hostility is embarrassing or even frightening – but in the longer-term this type of attack can cause deep psychological damage. When it happens, victims often feel quite alone and unwilling to report these matters. Examples of hostility might include: abuse; name calling; blocking aisles and priority seating; removing equipment or even violence. Reporting these incidents and crimes is important if you want these attacks to stop and you want justice.

How can I report a hate incident or crime or help someone who might be a victim?

We need to make more people aware of DHC. The more the police know about these attacks the more they can protect all of us. Anyone can report an incident or crime to the police on 101 (999 in an emergency).

Online, you can use the True Vision website at:


Alternatively, you can report the Incident or Crime to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 free, or online just search for ‘crimestoppers’.

Or you can use one of the many Third-Party Reporting centres which are appearing all over the UK. These are operated by charities and other agencies. One example is: Stop Hate UK www.stophateuk.org/talk-to-us/


Updates regarding disability hate crime, our campaigns and events will be posted here:

In 2022 we hope to be organising a global first; a national conference provisionally entitled Disability Hate Crime: The everyday, the impact, the responses. It will be in an accessible venue with face-to-face and online entry. More news to follow.

Other useful links concerning disability hate crime

Victim Support: 


Stop Hate UK:


Safer Places:


Catch (London area):


The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC):


Equality Act 2010 guidance


The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hate Crime:


The UK Victims Commissioner


UK Government Hate Crime Awareness Campaign:


The Crown Prosecution Service


The Law Commission: Hate crime review:


Hate Crime Unit:


The Centre for Hate Studies: University of Leicester:




Equality & Rights