Hate crime towards disabled rises by 700 per cent

Other forms of recorded hate crime incidents seem to be dropping.

Recorded hate crime incidents towards disabled people in West Suffolk have risen by more than 700 per cent, according to new figures released by Suffolk Police.

In 2015, there were six recorded incidents for the entire year – but in 2016, that figure rose to 49.

Other forms of recorded hate crime in West Suffolk seem to be dropping.

Vicky McDermott, chief executive of Papworth Trust, who manage the West Suffolk Disability Resource Centre, told the News: “Disability hate crime has no place in our communities and we must always do everything we can to prevent disabled people becoming the target of abuse.

“Sadly we know that this is an issue that is getting worse but importantly we are working with disabled people to enable them to be empowered to speak out when they are victims of hate crime.

“We would encourage any disabled person who is subjected to hate crime abuse to report this to the police on 101 as quickly as possible”.

The disability figures point towards incidents in places such as Newmarket, Mildenhall, Exning, Haverhill, Bury St Edmunds, among others.

However, other forms of recorded hate crime in West Suffolk are dropping.

Recorded racial hate crimes dropped from 117 incidents in 2015 to 99 in 2016.

Religious hate crimes dropped from four to three.

Sexual orientation hate crimes in West Suffolk dropped from 21 to 14.

Transgender hate crimes dropped from 2 to 1.

On the increase in disability cases, chief inspector Jo Garrard, from Suffolk Police, said: “The increase in the number of reports could be down to a growing awareness of the issue and an increase in the confidence of individuals to report such incidents to police.

“We know such crimes are under reported and we need all communities in Suffolk to know that abusive behaviour based on disability, sexuality, gender, race or religion is unacceptable and that it should be reported to police.

“Help and advice is available and all reports will be taken seriously and investigated. By reporting hate crime we have the best opportunity to stop it happening to someone else.”

Source – Written by Samar Maguire, featured in Cambridge News – http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/hate-crime-towards-disabled-rises-12485346

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