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Disability Hate Crime

Disability Hate Crime in Suffolk:

Disability Hate Crime is on the rise but how much of an issue is this in Suffolk?  SCODP are aware of instances of assistance/guide dogs being attacked.  There is a link to an article in the Ipswich Star on our ‘hot topics’ section (see tabs above).

SCODP have recently spoken to a number of disabled people in Suffolk about their experiences of hate crime.  What became clear was:

  • People did not always recognise what they experienced as hate crime;
  • People did not know who to report disability hate crime to;
  • People did not know about the support that was available to them when they had been victims of hate crime.

We have pulled together some information to help you understand what disability hate crime is and what support is available to you in Suffolk.

You may hear two different terms relating to hate crime: disability hate crime and disability hate incident.

 

What is a disability hate incident?

A hate incident is when you are targeted because you are a disabled person but the action does not break the law.

 

What is a disability hate crime?

A hate crime is when someone targets you because you are a disabled person and their actions also break the law.

You do not have to decide whether something is a hate crime or a hate incident.  If you choose to report it, the police will decide whether it is a crime or an incident.

 

What sort of things are hate crimes?

A hate crime is something that makes you feel vulnerable or afraid.  This could include things such as:

  • Name calling;
  • Attacking you including hitting, pushing etc
  • Damage to your property or belongings;
  • Writing hate related slogans on your property;
  • Arson – setting fire to your property;
  • Bullying;
  • Attacking your guide/assistance dog

These are only examples.  Anything that targets you because you are a disabled person and makes you feel uncomfortable or afraid can be considered a hate crime.

 

What are the effects of hate crime?

Anytime you are targeted because you are a disabled person can make you feel:

  • Scared to go home;
  • Scared to go out – including out of your home or out to a particular place;
  • Feeling like you are being bullied or taken advantage of;
  • Having people call you names and making you feel uncomfortable or frightened;
  • Damaging your vehicle/wheelchair or other possessions;
  • Stealing from you because they see you as ‘an easy target’;
  • Being attacked.

You should not suffer hate crime.  You should report all disability hate crime.  Unless you report it, people will not know it is happening.  The more people who report, the better we can work with the police to take action to stop all disability hate crime in Suffolk.

 

How to report Disability Hate Crime:

If you feel you are in danger or your property is in immediate danger you should dial 999.

If you do not feel you are in immediate danger there are other ways you can report hate crime.

Call 101 for non emergencies.

You can report to Suffolk police online at: http://www.suffolk.police.uk

You can also report it online to Report It: http://www.report-it.org.uk

If you want to report it anonymously on line you can do so at Crime Stoppers: http://www.crimestoppers.org.uk

Or you can call Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111

 

Where can you get support?

Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care are the main organisation for providing support to victims of crime, including hate crime.  You do not have to report the incident to the police to use this service.  The service is free and confidential.  They will help you understand what has happened and will support you in the way you need.  If you want to report the incident to the police but want support to do so, Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care can help you.

Further details of their service is available at: http://www.nsvictimcare.org

You can email them on: nsvictimcare@victimsupport.org.uk 

Or you can telephone them 8am – 5pm Monday to Friday on 0300 303 3706 or out of hours on 0808 1689111.

What are SCODP doing?

We are working with Suffolk Police to look at the incidence of hate crime across the County and looking at what action can be taken to tackle disability hate crime.  However our arguments are only as strong as our evidence.  Please let us know if you are a victim of disability hate crime.  We do not run a specific hate crime service but we would like to gain a picture of what is happening around the country.  What you tell us will be confidential and we will never pass your contact details to anyone.  Let us know by emailing us at: enquiries@scodp.org.uk

 

And together we can work to ensure all disabled people in Suffolk feel safe and supported to live their lives as they choose without harassment or fear.