It’s never too late, end disability hate
Dated: 21 Jun 2012[View Full Size]
It’s never too late…end disability hate is the message from Northumbria Police as the force embarks on a campaign to increase awareness and reporting of disability hate crime.
As part of the campaign, more than 80 premises across the force area will become Safe Reporting Centres – offering an alternative method for people to report incidents or to contact police in an environment they feel comfortable.
The centres compliment other reporting schemes such as ARCH and True Vision which offer online and telephone facilities to report incidents.
The campaign aims to improve everyone’s understanding of what hate crime is and that it is everyone’s responsibility to report incidents – not just people with disabilities.
Northumbria launches its campaign during Mencap’s Learning Disability Week which will see a variety of events across the region supporting people with learning disabilities.
Northumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable Steve Ashman, said: “Northumbria Police recognises everyone’s right to live their life free from harassment and fear of crime.
“We are committed to protecting the most vulnerable people in our society and tackling disability hate crime.
“We know that for many reasons people don’t always report incidents to the police.
“As part of our commitment we need to ensure people with disabilities have increased support and opportunity to report incidents in a safe and secure environment either to the police or via a third party.
“This campaign will promote Safe Reporting Centres and greater awareness of hate crime, encouraging reporting in the knowledge that police are fully committed to stopping hate crime.”
In addition to the centres, police want to encourage relatives, friends and carers of people with disabilities to also support and report if they see or know of any incidents.
Neighbourhood officers across the force have been visiting hundreds of centres with reporting forms and information designed in a variety of formats to raise awareness of hate crime.
The messages have also been reinforced through widespread publicity.
Pictured above are Assistant Chief Constable Steve Ashman and Rochelle, from South Shields who has experienced hate crime and now helps other victims of hate crime.
Rochelle, 34, experienced years of hate crime because she had a disability. She, at first was scared to tell the police. Rochelle describes herself as a "survivor" and now helps others overcome their fear of speaking out. She advises a number of organisations that offer help and assistance to people with disabilities.
Listen to Rochelle's experience here: