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Disability hate crime on the rise

When these latest figures hit my in tray this week I couldn't help wondering if this was further evidence of the effect of the government's targeting of disabled people?

Police figures for England, Wales and Northern Ireland show that there has been a rise in hate crimes against disabled people during the past two years.

Although some of this could be attributed to an increased willingness to report such crimes, more than 2,000 such offences were recorded in 2011, which is up a third on 2010. This year's figures are proving to be even higher.

Hate crime monitoring began in 2008 to raise awareness of the problem. Perversely, hate crimes linked to race, religion and sexual orientation have fallen.

An offence is considered a hate crime if the victim, or any other person, considers it was motivated by hostility based on a person's race, religious belief, sexual orientation, disability or where the victim was perceived to be transgender.

Assistant Chief Constable Drew Harris, who heads the Association of Chief Police Officers' (Acpo) online reporting facility, True Vision, commented:

"The 2011 data importantly shows a further increase in disability hate crime.

"While we would obviously want to see reductions in the incidence of all hate crime, we suspect that disability hate crimes have been significantly under-reported in the past."

The Association for Real Change (ARC UK) launched a Safety Net campaign in 2009 - running for three years. They targeted 'Mate Crime' in which people would befriend someone with learning difficulties in order to rob or abuse them.

ARC UK is concerned that, without a sustained national campaign, more vulnerable adults with learning difficulties will be abused by people pretending to be their friends.

Rod Landman speaking for ARK UK said: "Identifying and tackling 'mate crime' is complicated. Victims often do not understand what is happening to them or are too afraid to tell anyone."

Mr Landman says that from his experience almost all of this type of crime goes unreported.

 

For more information about these issue please click here for an article about the rise in hate crime figures, and click here to read more about so called 'mate crime'..



 

Posted by Dave Lupton, 13 September 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 10 November 2012

A disturbing story brought to us by Disability Now

This is an extract from an excellent article in Disability Now (DN) about disabled asylum seekers using art to express themselves through a painted mural in Bristol.

In the DN article, Disabled Iraqi Ahmed tells us a disturbing account about their lives and their treatment in Britain.

"People in Britain don’t seem to like the disabled. I see lots of disabled people. They drink in the park, they have nowhere to live. They try to kill themselves ...

"Britain says Iraq is rubbish but even in Iraq and Kurdistan people are treated better than this. My family send me money every month ...

"Who made me disabled? The government. Britain, America, Iraq. The governments fought. They made me disabled. They injured my leg in an explosion. I lost my mind. I lost my brother. My mother can’t talk properly now: she lost an eye and an arm in the explosion.

"The Government should be helping these people. They put me into a hostel with people who abuse drugs and drink. I’ve never drunk alcohol in my life. Why house me with drug users?

"Does this country respect disabled people? They make them sleep on the street.

"In my country, when someone dies, people come and check on you. My brother died last year. Only one person came to see me when I heard that he’d been killed. I was bleeding inside. I couldn’t talk. My family say “Are there any people around you?” I say “No.” My mother says “Be strong.”

"I’ve never seen such bad people as here. No one came to help me. I needed people to listen. I felt my insides going into a small hole. I needed a place to forget my pain. When I hear news about Iraq I just cry.

"I’m not here to slag off the Iraqi government or British government. I can’t talk properly. I don’t remember how long it’s been since I talked to my mum ... lots of people sleep on the street. My inside is always crying.

"Britain came to my country. They smashed everything, they killed people. When I came here I asked for help, but they wouldn’t help me. England has lost its mind ...

"People call me names. They say I come from the jungle. They don’t believe the things I say. They say I’m lying. I’m not lying ... it’s because I’m brown and disabled.

"They’re racist and the Government doesn’t do anything to help. They should be shouting, “Look after disabled people!”"

For the full story go to the DN web site.
 

Posted by Dave Lupton, 31 July 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 10 November 2012