BuDS is here to defend the interests of disabled people in Buckinghamshire. One of the ways we can do that is by supporting local disabled people who suffer from disability hate crime (a disability hate crime is any form of abuse or attack, whether spoken or physical, because of your disability).
We know that disabled people face prejudice and hatred on a everyday basis. In a recent survey, 4% of disabled people said they had been physically attacked and 16% of disabled people had had people act aggressively or in a hostile way towards them. We also know that hardly anyone ever reports such crimes to the police.
How Else Does BuDS Help?
BuDS represents local disabled people on the Thames Valley Police Independent Advisory Group. We have strongly represented to the Group that local disabled people are suffering from many unreported attacks and we are urging the police to do more to encourage people to make complaints. We are also strongly pressing for more prosecutions and convictions of people who attack and abuse disabled people.
We work to increase understanding and acceptance of disability and reduce hostility. As part of our Welfare reform project (Benefit information), we are running 14 disability hate crime awareness sessions in libraries across Bucks. We have trained hundreds of local people in disability awareness through our Fair4All projects. We speak out publicly in support of disabled people, especially in the local media and on Twitter and Facebook.
BuDS is running two joint projects with Waddesdon School and Wycombe High School to design education posters for Blue Badge parking areas. The aim of these posters is to educate the general public about the need for these parking spaces and who is entitled to use them. By doing this, we hope to help prevent the disability abuse and attacks which can commonly occur here. The posters are being displayed with the support of community safety teams from Aylesbury Vale and Wycombe distract councils and Thames Valley Police.
BuDS is also a leading player in the Buckinghamshire Safe Places scheme, which is trying to set up a network of places across the County which disabled, older and other vulnerable people can use when they are out and about, for example if they are a victim of hate crime or harassment. We are also seeking to develop our own Fair4All Community quality mark which will build-on the Safe Places scheme.
BuDS Disability Hate Crime project receives no government or council funding as is completely reliant on the work of our volunteers and donations received. If you would like to donate to help BuDS work, please click here. If you’d like to volunteer to help this project, simply e-mail [email protected] Thank you!
Disability Hate Incidents
If someone has been violent or hostile towards you because you have an impairment , you have been the victim of a hate incident. Something is a disability hate incident if the victim or anyone else thinks it was carried out because of hostility or prejudice against disabled people regardless of physical or mental impairment. This means that if you believe something is a hate incident, it should be recorded as such by the person you are reporting it to.
You can also be the victim of a disability hate incident because of the association with someone who is disabled – for example, if someone targets you because you have a disabled child. Disability hate incidents can happen anywhere and take many forms including: verbal and physical abuse; teasing; bullying; threatening behaviour; online abuse; threatening or insulting texts; damage to property. They are not only carried out by strangers, but can be by a carer, or neighbour. Many incidents take place near the victim’s home. For example, repeated harassment or intimidation by neighbours or local youths, or people throwing things in a garden or damaging property.
Disability hate crime definition-in-law
Disability hate crime is defined by the CPS as based on offensive, senseless prejudices that have a degrading and destructive impact on the lives of others.
When a Disability hate incident becomes a criminal offence, it’s known as a disability hate crime. Any criminal offence can be a disability hate crime, if the offender targeted the victim because of their hostility or prejudice against disabled people. If an event is classed as a disability hate crime, the offender can receive a tougher sentence.
If you experience a disability hate incident or crime you should report it to the police. You can also report a hate incident or crime even if it wasn’t directed at you, but at a friend, neighbour, family member, or simply a passer-by.