Inclusion London launch new report ‘Still Getting Away with Murder: Disability Hate Crime in England’

The new report is launched as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week (10-17 October 2020)

Icon of a hand making a 'stop' gesture

Press Release

Inclusion London launches ‘Still Getting Away with Murder: Disability Hate Crime in England’ during National Hate Crime Awareness Week (10 – 17 October) as a follow up to the 2008 report Getting Away with Murder, which was written by Katharine Quarmby, produced in collaboration with Disability Now, the UK Disabled People’s Council and Scope. Both reports focused on Hate Crime against Disabled people and are collaborations with Disabled People. The new report revisits the observations and key findings made in 2008 and looks at what has happened since.  

‘Still Getting Away with Murder’ was commissioned by Inclusion London and written by Dr Laura Chapman, a Disabled academic. The aim of the report is to move away from ‘sound bites’ and simplistic explanations for why Disability Hate Crime happens. There are six key findings from the report that we encourage professionals, Disabled people, academics and the public to think about when attempting to understand the complex reasons why these crimes happen, and for professionals to use them when developing polices and practice.

Inclusion London’s Hate Crime Project is the only partnership of Deaf & Disabled People’s Organisations (DDPOs) working across London that is led by and for Disabled people. Many institutional and attitudinal barriers that Disabled people face when accessing support can be overcome by working with DDPOs and Disabled people using a human rights approach when developing strategic policy and practice.

The six key findings of the report are:

  1. Disabled people are still overwhelmingly likely to be victims of crime
  2. Disabled people are still seen as unreliable witnesses 
  3. Using a Human Rights based approach is aiding increased understanding of Disabled people’s experience 
  4. Institutional Disablism creates space for hate crime 
  5. Disablism has the same characteristics as other ‘isms’ & more work is needed to improve understanding 
  6. Coproduction with Disabled people works

“[The report is] a reflection on a journey. It’s a tale of a complex area, full of contradiction, convoluted ideas; a difficult path towards greater justice for us all. At every moment I tried to serve the most hard-pressed of victims, answering the question: what would they want people to know in order to do the least harm? Reading this will have made a difference if professionals change their ways of working to make justice more achievable, because this crime will not stop in our lifetime. More needs to be done to build a fluency around culture and society, an understanding of disablism and ableism and of practice and policy, in line with the principle of ‘Nothing About Us, Without Us’.” Dr Laura Chapman, Author, ‘Still Getting Away with Murder’.

“We need a national approach that does not depend on individual Deaf and Disabled people to motivate such work, or individual police officers. Also a law that ensures all hate crime is treated the same. Until we get this we hold the history of the experiences, the ones murdered, tortured, abused, attacked and harassed because of who they are. 

We are the activists who will never accept that a society in the millennium cannot ensure all who experience hate crime can access support, equal justice and professionals who are trained, by us, and know what they should do and do it.” Anne Novis MBE, Disabled Activist & Chair of Inclusion London.

“We work to make sure that Disabled people are consulted as experts with lived experience that improve the experience of Disabled survivors of hate crime and no Disabled person has to suffer alone. There is still a long way to go: Inclusion London is committed to continuing advocating for more resources to be allocated to Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations so they can provide holistic services that include support to recognise, report and recover from hate crime.” Louise Holden, Hate Crime Partnership Project Manager, Inclusion London.

Inclusion London wants to thank the Crown Prosecution Service, Metropolitan Police Service and Dr David Wilkins for their input. We also thank Anne Novis MBE for her introductory remarks and tireless support.

Inclusion London will be at the Metropolitan Police’s Disability Hate Crime Webinar on 14 October to look at some of the issues raised in the report. The event is open to the public. Tickets for the event can be booked via Eventbrite.

To download a copy of the report, please visit Inclusion London’s website at https://www.inclusionlondon.org.uk/campaigns-and-policy/facts-and-information/hate-crime/still-getting-away-with-murder-disability-hate-crime-in-england/

Notes for Editors:

https://www.inclusionlondon.org.uk/campaigns-and-policy/facts-and-information/hate-crime/still-getting-away-with-murder-disability-hate-crime-in-england/

The London DDPO Hate Crime Partnership is funded for 5 years by the National Lottery Community Fund, Trust for London and 3 Guineas Trust, which is now in its third year and is supporting a Pan-London partnership between Deaf & Disabled People’s Organisations (DDPO) with capacity building, campaigning and policy work.

This partnership is the only one of its kind that provides a network of support across London so no Disabled person needs to suffer alone if they experience Hate Crime.

We have the support of Anne Novis who was awarded an MBE for her tireless campaigning to get Disability Hate Crime recognised and responded to appropriately. Anne is currently the Chair of Inclusion London and is an independent advisor to the Metropolitan Police and Crown Prosecution Service. 

During this pandemic, most of us have experienced loneliness, isolation, anxiety, not being able to get our food delivered, difficulty accessing health services and having to rely on friends and family if we have been ill. Many things that a lot of Disabled people experienced before COVID19 and will continue to do so regardless of Government guidance and easing of lockdown measures due to having underlying health conditions and continuing to shield. On top of this, we have seen an increase in referrals for support with Disability Hate Crimes. Imagine having to deal with the pandemic and also worried that you are going to be targeted for being ‘a drain on resources’ or a ‘virus spreader’. Or being targeted because your Disabled child is making too much noise while you are all shielding at home. We hope that you can empathise more with the challenges many Disabled people have to face and if you can only do one thing, be kind!

Facts and figures

We are using the term Disabled to cover a range of conditions and impairments including Mental Trauma and Distress, Learning Disability, Learning Difficulty, Neuro-Diverse, Physical, Sensory, Chronic long-term conditions and Deaf Community.

There are an estimated 1.2 million Disabled people in London. 

Despite such high incidences of hate crime, most of it goes unreported [1].  

Research shows that nine out of ten Disabled people do not report hate crime, often due to the frequency of incidents and feeling that they will not be believed [2]. 

Inclusion London’s survey during lockdown showed a marked increase in referrals for support with incidents escalating into Disability Hate Crime [3].

[1] – https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/mayors-office-policing-and-crime-mopac/data-and-statistics/hate-crime-dashboard 

[2] – Making it stop – tackling hate crime via https://www.mertoncil.org.uk/services/hate-crime/

[3] – https://www.inclusionlondon.org.uk/campaigns-and-policy/facts-and-information/hate-crime/inclusion-london-briefing-disability-hate-crime/

 

For more information or to arrange interviews contact

Name: Louise Holden, Hate Crime Partnership Manager Tel: 07741 733 993 

Name: Svetlana Kotova, Campaigns and Justice Director Tel: 07907 495 112

336 Brixton Road London SW9 7AA

Email louise.holden@inclusionlondon.org.uk 

Website https://www.inclusionlondon.org.uk/