The number of disability hate crimes prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service is increasing, but fewer cases are referred there than for other types of hate crime and Neighbourhood Watch is now seeking to highlight this issue within our communities.
It has teamed up with the Disability Hate Crime Network (DHCN) to provide its supporters with information and resources to help people better understand the impact and extent of disability hatred in our neighbourhoods. The DHCN is a group consisting of disabled peoples’ organisations, charities, academic establishments and a range of official and non-official bodies including police and Crown Prosecution Service representatives.
Disability hate crime is defined as, “any incident or criminal offence which is perceived by the victim, or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s disability or perceived disability.”
National Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network’s strategic partnerships director Jayne Pascoe summed up the reasons for Neighbourhood Watch’s decision to adopt a stance on this issue: “From bullying at school, harassment and name calling on the street, to abuse and exploitation in their own homes, there is a significant number of disabled people affected by disability hate crime – and some for whom it is an almost daily occurrence, and happening so often that they do not even think to report it to the police. In a caring society, it is unacceptable that this abuse is allowed to continue. In the Neighbourhood Watch network we have a membership of millions who care about the safety of their communities and who, by acting together, can have a significant influence in reducing crime in their neighbourhoods. It is right and timely that this caring is brought to bear in reducing the victimisation and public abuse of disabled people.”
• The Selden Neighbourhood Panel will meet at 6.30pm on Tuesday, September 19, at the East Worthing Community Centre in Pages Lane.
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