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Stop Disability Hate Crime

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Disability Rights UK Factsheet F20

 What is Disability Hate crime?

A hate crime is any criminal offence 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 Disability Hate Crime 

There are many ways to report hate crime.

  • 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. 

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.

More information

Disability Hate Crime Network article by David Wilkin August 2020

For information on our stop hate crime policy work see our briefings and submissions and reports and research pages

3 August 2020

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