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Hate Crime

How to Report Disability Hate Crime

There are many ways to report hate crime.

• If the matter involves an attack or serious crime, ring 999

• If it is a lesser incident such as verbal abuse, ring 101

• Contact your local police directly.

• Contact Darlington Association on Disability on 01325 489 999 or email DAD for support.

Pioneering new service supports hate crime victims

VICTIMS of hate crime will have unique access to a ground-breaking service launching this year.

The first of its kind in the country, the new Hate Crime Advocacy Service will support victims that experience crimes motivated by prejudice.

The service, put in place by Ron Hogg, Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, is made up of a trio of organisations that will provide advocacy support across County Durham and Darlington.

It will support victims to ensure their rights are safeguarded and they are empowered to make informed choices and decisions about their recovery.

Ron said: “A crime that is motivated by hostility or prejudice towards the victim is particularly destructive and can have devastating consequences for that victim, those closest to them and the wider community.

“This is a unique service, whereby three different organisations are collaborating as one, to meet the specific needs of victims affected by the different strands of hate crime.”

Show Racism the Red Card, Darlington Association on Disability and Gay Advice Darlington and Durham will work together to support anyone suffering from hate crime, or possible hate crime, right throughout the criminal justice process. This includes harassment and bullying, as well as financial, physical or other forms of abuse or criminal activity.

Lauren Robinson Chief Executive Officer at Darlington Association on Disability (DAD) said: “We have been working to raise the issues that affect victims of disability hate crime and crimes against vulnerable people for several years. We are very pleased that the Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, Ron Hogg, has recognised that disabled people need additional support as victims of hate crime.

“This new project will help disabled people recognise when they have been a victim of hate crime and feel confident in reporting it. They will be able to access Advocacy Support throughout the Criminal Justice System.

“DAD is looking forward to working in this unique partnership with GADD and Show Racism the Red Card on this ground breaking project.”

Emma Roebuck, Chief Executive Officer at Gay Advice Darlington and Durham commented that GADD is proud to be part of this innovative new project. She said: “By working as partners with Ron, Show Racism the Red Card and Darlington Association on Disability, we can work together with communities and build positive outcomes for those who feel lost or ignored by the criminal justice system.

“All strands of hate crime will be brought under the umbrella of one partnership, and advocates will work together for the first time on all the key components of hate and bigotry. It will be a mechanism to create cohesive communities in County Durham & Darlington.”

Laura Pidcock, North East Education Team Manager at Show Racism the Red Card said: “Show Racism the Red Card is acutely aware that in some places there exists a hostile environment for Black, Asian and other Minority communities.

“The climate post-Brexit has brought to the surface anti-immigrant sentiment, anti-Muslim prejudice and other discriminatory behaviours, meaning that the profile of hate crime has risen. Worryingly we know that hate crime is vastly under-reported. There are many pressures on those who are targeted, and they may fear things getting worse. Some people are also fearful of the repercussions if they report what happened.

“Having a Hate Crime Advocate for Race and Faith related hate crime is an extremely positive step in ensuring that victims of hate crime have equal access to justice.”

The bespoke Hate Crime Advocacy Service will be available later this year.

Reporting Disability Hate Crime

Disability Hate Crime is massively underreported as many people don’t know who to talk to or how to report incidents.
A hate incident is any incident which may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived to be motivated by prejudice or hate against disabled people. For example:

Name calling, verbal abuse, harassment, taunting, offensive leaflets and posters, abusive gestures and bullying at school or in the workplace

A hate crime is a hate incident which does constitute a criminal offence, and again is motivated by prejudice or hate against disabled people. For example:

Attacks, physical abuse/assault, damage to property, arson or offensive graffiti.

The victim, a witness or any other person who knows or believes a hate crime/incident has taken place can make a report.

Reporting hate crime could bring about positive change to our community.

How to Report Disability Hate Crime

There are many ways to report hate crime.

• If the matter involves an attack or serious crime, ring 999

• If it is a lesser incident such as verbal abuse, ring 101

• Contact your local police directly.

• Contact Darlington Association on Disability on 01325 489 999 or email DAD for support.

Gordon Pybus, Chair of DAD has said “It is vitally important that disabled people should always report any hate incident or crime because what could be just name calling one day could easily escalate into a serious incident even leading to a fatality.”

Rosemary Berks, Senior Manager of DAD says: “Hate Crime Awareness Week is an opportunity for all of us to focus on a positive way forward in preventing hate crime and the devastating effect on people’s lives. This can have such a long-lasting effect on individuals and often their families and friends.

“Hate crime is never acceptable and no-one should feel threatened or scared, particularly in their own community. Everyone will recall media coverage of recent heart-breaking incidents of how people have been treated solely because they are disabled.

“Hate crime has been embedded into criminal law for 13 years and as a society we should show that it won’t be tolerated and report it. If we take anything positive from this it is that more hate crimes are being reported and that organisations like ours are proactive in supporting disabled people. We offer opportunities for people to develop their confidence and skills through, for example, projects run from our Independent Living Hub, Mentoring for Independence and People’s Parliament, a self-advocacy project. We provide peer support opportunities and reduce isolation. We support people to be included in both our local community and nationally.

“As an organisation led by disabled people, we believe that everyone should be treated equally and that this needs to start with education. We deliver Disability Equality Training to disabled people and non-disabled people, which looks at the use of language and stereotyping, challenges negativity and promotes a positive image of disabled people. We are always looking to secure funding to deliver new, exciting and ground-breaking initiatives.”

Ron Hogg, Durham Police and Crime Commissioner says, in a letter of support: “National Hate Crime Awareness Week is not just a day to celebrate the giant leaps and baby steps which have been achieved so far, but to call on all of us to continue our commitment.”
He also says: “It is vital that we continue to work closely with partners and the voluntary sector organisations to share the knowledge and the ability to improve the service to all those who have been a victim of hate crime, and as such, I encourage people to come forward to report Hate Crime.”

DAD is developing a ‘Be Safe - Confident’ Network in Darlington with and for disabled people.

The network will act as a focal and access point for disabled people who have either experienced crime or are isolated or in danger of becoming due to a fear of crime or being unsafe in their community.

The Be Safe - Be Confident project will deliver workshops and provide support to individuals. The project will be co-delivered by disabled people who have personal experience in encountering barriers in accessing the community safely.

The Be Safe - Be Confident Programme will include:

• E-safety when using social media
• Road safety, such as safe crossing points
• Using transport and taxis safely
• Using the community and what to do if you don’t feel safe.
• Use technology to keep safe when accessing the community.
• How to recognise hate crime and how to report it
• Part of the programme will be people accessing peer support from each other, through sharing experience and developing solutions and strategies together.
• The programme will also include links with local police.

Everyone should have the right to live safely and securely, and the right to live free from fear and harassment, are fundamental human rights.

County Durham sixth form students tackling the evil of hate crime

Ron Hogg Press Release in the Northern Echo 10/10/16

Article re-produced below:

HATE Crime Awareness Week sees the launch today of Defiant Voices - an ambitious educational programme involving 100 sixth form students from five County Durham schools.

Funded by Durham Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg, and created by The Forge, the region’s leading arts in education agency, the programme uses theatre, drama and music, to create young civic ambassadors who will stand up against prejudice and promote respect and inclusion within their own school communities.

Mr Hogg said: “It is really heartening to see so many young people get involved in a local project which examines the cause of intolerance within communities.

“The project was awarded a grant from my Community Safety Fund, which is managed and part-funded by County Durham Community Foundation. I’m pleased that this will help to reinforce and embed the positive message to our young people, that there is no place for bullying and hate in our communities.”

The students gather at Durham Sixth Form Centre today, where a theatre production of The Tin Ring, the internationally acclaimed one-woman show based on the real-life story of Holocaust survivor Zdenka Fantlova, will mark the start of their reflective journeys.

They will then take part in a programme of cultural activities and workshops.