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Inquiry by EHRC into hate crimes against disabled people

Published: 13/10/10

An inquiry has been launched after startling facts have come to light about the level of hate crimes and also harassment of people with disabilities. In a statement the Equality and Human Rights Commission says that disabled people are four times more likely to be the victim of a crime than the general public.

Figures have revealed that harassment, physical assaults, bullying and intimidation are common experiences for some disabled people. Leading to depression, injury and even death amongst victims.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission which is to conduct the inquiry says that those with learning difficulties or mental health problems are most at risk. The EHRC says the inquiry which has the backing of government ministers will study how social services, local authorities and the police investigate complaints of abuse by vulnerable people. Those public bodies that are considered not to be doing enough to protect disabled people may be acted against if they are found to be at fault.

The commission also stated that most crimes against disabled people are not reported for fear of reprisals or because victims believe no one will take them seriously. They also estimate that on average one person a day is in court charged with a crime against a disabled victim. According to information from the Crown Prosecution Service 576 people were taken to court between 2007 09 for disability hate crimes, of these 76% were convicted.

As a first step to addressing this issue the EHRC has launched a evidence gathering campaign across the country and is encouraging those who have suffered abuse or discrimination to contact them.

Copyright Disability Job Board 2010.