Government responds to Equality and Human Rights Commission Report on Disability Related Harassment
The Government has today responded to the Inquiry report saying;
"The Government is committed to ensuring that everyone has the freedom to live their lives free from fear of targeted hostility or harassment on the grounds of a particular characteristic. It believes that disability-related harassment and hate crime should be viewed and dealt with just as seriously as any other type of harassment and hate crime.
Government Response to Hidden in Plain Sight, the Equality and Human Rights Commission Report on Disability Related Harassment” responds to the recommendations made by the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report into disability-related harassment “Hidden in Plain Sight.
It builds on the work set out in the “Challenge it, Report it, Stop it – the Governments plan to tackle hate crime”, and set outs the breadth of work being undertaken across government to tackle disability-related harassment and hate crime".
The cross government response to Hidden in Plain Sight was compiled by the Home Office and the Ministry for Justice who is responsible for issues that relate to the criminal justice system and hate crime; and the Office for Disability Issues who work collaboratively across government to make sure that the requirements of disabled people are reflected in their work.
The Home Office and Ministry for Justice collated responses to those recommendations relevant to the Criminal Justice System; and the Office for Disability Issues collated the response from other relevant departments: the Department for Education, the Department of Health; Department for Communities and Local Government, and the Department for Transport.
What is disability hate crime?
Hate crimes and incidents are any crime or incident which is targeted at a victim because of the offender's hostility or prejudice against an identifiable group of people.
So any incident or crime, which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated because of a person's disability or perceived disability, will be recorded as such. This can be committed against a person or property.
A disability hate crime is:
“Any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person’s disability or perceived disability.”
You can also see our definition of hate crime on the Hate Crime Data page of this website.
The Equality Act 2010 (EA) generally defines a disabled person as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
The EA includes special rules that ensure that people with HIV, cancer and multiple sclerosis are deemed to be disabled people effectively from the point of diagnosis, rather than from the point when the condition has some adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
The definition of disability hate crime would include anyone who was targeted as a result of his or her disability or impairment, as defined by the EA, including those diagnosed with HIV.
How can I report an incident?
Details on how to report an incident and what you can report is available on the 'Report a hate crime' page. You can use a self reporting form or complete the online form on the 'Reporting online' page.
You may also be able to report incidents through the organisations listed on this website on the 'Organisations that can help' page.
By reporting it, you may be able to prevent these incidents from happening to someone else.
Reporting makes a difference...to you, your friends, your community and your life.
How will the Police and CPS treat Disability Hate Crime?
The Police and other criminal justice agencies consider all hate crime to be very serious, including disability hate crime. When a case is prosecuted, the courts can impose a stronger sentence under powers from the Criminal Justice Act. This reflects the priority placed on these crimes. The Police have performance targets and measures in place to ensure the service they offer is of the highest standard.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is the organisation that takes cases through the court system. They have produced guidance on Disability Hate Crime that is available on the CPS website (opens in new window).
You may also want to look at the leaflets on the 'Prosecuting hate crimes' page of this website.
Information about bullying
The students of Ms Clark's class at the Monument Charter School in the United States have been researching material to help reduce bullying. They want to share a resource with you that they found helpful. It is based in the USA, but has links to many helpful sites.
(ACPO cannot be responsible for the content of external websites)
Sorry to hear that bullying is a problem for you too, but it's good that we can help each other, even across the Atlantic.
Stay safe and best wishes from the Police in the United Kingdom