Thursday, 21 June 2012

Learning Disability Week

I attended a disability hate crime event in the Houses of Parliament this week to launch the start of Learning Disability Week.

The event, organised by learning disability charity Mencap, aimed to raise awareness of the issue of disability hate crime and highlight the positive progress that has been made since the launch of Mencap’s Stand by me campaign last year.
Greater Manchester Police is one of the 34 forces which has signed up to Mencap’s Stand by me police promise and formally committed to supporting people with a learning disability and increasing hate crime convictions.

As many as 9 out of 10 people with a learning disability have been a victim of hate crime and bullying.
This year during Learning Disability Week (18th – 24th June 2012), police and crime commissioner candidates across England and Wales will face questions from disabled people and their families, who will demand that new police and crime plans include a commitment to tackling disability hate crime, ahead of public elections in November.

Attendees at the event heard from Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice, Nick Herbert; Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Simon Byrne; Mencap chief executive Mark Goldring; and disability hate crime victim Kate Green.

Mencap receives reports from around the country of people who are verbally abused and physically attacked. They might be seen as easy targets or valued less because of their disability. With the help of our local communities and police, Mencap wants to change this. Disability hate crime is a serious offence, and if the courts recognise that a person was targeted because of their disability they can impose a heavier sentence.

To find out more about Mencap’s Stand by me campaign, visit the website.   

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