Disability Hate Crime Awareness Week throws spotlight on campaign to improve understanding and support


Results from an analysis of the British Crime Survey suggest that 9 out of ten disabled people have been the victims of disability hate crime
However, there appears to be still a lack of clarity and understanding as to what constitutes a disability hate crime and under reporting of such crimes. Mencap’s Don’t Stand By report pointed out that only around 3% of incidents are recorded by the police as hate crimes and 1% lead to convictions.

A joint review of how the police, Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and probation trusts deal with disability hate crime, recommended better joint co-ordination of community engagement projects undertaken by police and CPS and the need for the CPS to improve performance in relation to case preparation

The Mencap Stand by me campaign aims to support people with learning disabilities to tell their stories, to get better information and support when they are victims of hate crime and to help criminal justice and social services organisations improve their responses to this issue.

This week the campaign is supporting Disability Hate Crime Awareness Week and on Friday 18th October, Elf readers are invited to join in Mencap’s twitter chat on disability hate crime by following the hashtag #LDhatecrime.

The joint review referred to above points out that disability hate crime not only impacts on the individuals involved, but also has a negative impact on communities in relation to cohesion and integration.

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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