Hate crime inquiry evidence

Numbers of hate crimes have risen following the result of the EU referendum and Deaf and Disabled people are being targeted as well. Read our recommendations…

Inclusion London responded to the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee’s call for evidence for its inquiry into hate crime and its consequences.

Our evidence highlights that a Deaf or Disabled person may be a Muslim woman who wears a hijab or Jewish man who is gay. Deaf and Disabled people can be European immigrants, refugees or a member of the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) or LGBT community. Deaf and Disabled people belong to other communities and can be subject to hate crime due to one characteristic or because of a combination.

As the select Committee highlights the numbers of hate crimes have risen following the result of the EU referendum and Deaf and Disabled people are being targeted as well.

The response highlighted ‘Living in a Different World’, the joint report[1] produced by the police, probation and Crown Prosecution Services, which  found that:

“…. many ways Disability Hate Crime is the hate crime that has been overlooked. The criminal justice system must therefore change to provide an improved service for those with disabilities.”

Deaf and Disabled people have been very concerned that the relevance of Disabled people’s impairments has not been adequately recognised by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

Inclusion London made a number of recommendations, which include:

  1. The effectiveness of current legislation and law enforcement policies for preventing and prosecuting hate crime and its associated violence:
  • Section 146 under the Criminal Justice Act, which enables judges to impose an ‘enhanced’ i.e. longer sentence, is not working well for Deaf and Disabled people. Parity is needed so the law that covers other hate strands also covers Disability Hate Crime and hate crime against Deaf and Disabled people.
  1. The barriers that prevent individuals from reporting hate crime, and measures to improve reporting rates:

Action is particularly important on the following areas:

  • All agencies receive Disability Awareness training – the ‘Living in a Different World report revealed ‘poor understanding’ of different types of impairments by officers.
  • Increase an understanding across all agencies of what constitutes a Disability Hate Crime. Deaf and Disabled people also need to understand what a hate crime is to increase reporting.
  • Ensure that all Deaf and Disabled people receive a respectful response when reporting a hate crime to police.

    3. The type, extent and effectiveness of the support that is available to victims and their families and how it might be improved:

  • Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations (DDPOs) provide support to report hate crime and to go throughout the court process.  Deaf and Disabled people find DDPOs accessible and a safe, respectful place to report hate crime.
  1. The role of the voluntary sector, community representatives, and other frontline organisations in challenging attitudes that underpin hate crime:
  • The government and the media to promote positive images of all Deaf and Disabled people, not just medal winning Paralympians. The Equality and Human Rights Commission should also monitor the way that Government and the media talk about Disabled people.

Disabled people’s experience of Disability Hate Crime/hate crime has often been overlooked or is given less priority than other forms of hate crime.  Part of the purpose of our evidence above is to ensure that awareness of the abuse/hate crime that Disabled people can frequently experience is not forgotten or ignored once again.

Inclusion London’s full evidence is available to download below:

Select committee hate crime inquiry-Inclusion London’s evidenc


[1] https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmic/media/a-joint-review-of-disability-hate-crime-living-in-a-different-world-20130321.pdf