disabled people. From the Crown Prosecution Service.
Easy read version.
This report is from the Crown Prosecution Service. We are called CPS for short.
The report tells you about crimes that could happen
to disabled people.
If you would like to look at the Disability Hate Crime
Policy in more detail or listen to it on CD or in Braille
please write to this address:
CPS Communications Branch.
2 Southwark Bridge
London SE1 9HS
Or telephone 020 335 70913
Crime. Criminal. When people do something that is against the
law it is called a crime and they are called a
criminal. The police arrest them and the CPS
charge them with committing the crime.
Charge. This is what we call the crime when someone is
Defendant. The person who is charged with the crime is
called the defendant when they are in court.
Evidence. This is all the facts and information about a
crime. Evidence can help prove if a person did a
crime or not.
Public seats or gallery. This is the place in the court where people can
sit and watch what happens in the court. The
people that watch are not part of what happens
in the court.
Punishment. This is something that people get if they do
something wrong or against the law. For example, if someone is found guilty of a crime in court they will get a punishment.
Victim. This is someone who has had a crime happen to
Witness. This is someone who has seen a crime happen.
What is this report about?
This report is about how we deal with a type of
crime called Disability hate crime.
Disability hate crime is a type of crime that can
happen to disabled people.
In this report we talk about disabled people. These
People who find it difficult to move around.
People who cannot hear or see, or who find it
difficult to hear or see.
People with a learning disability.
People with mental health problems.
A group of people called a steering group helped
us with this report. People from disability
organisations were in this group. We also talked to
Disability Hate Crime
Some people treat other people in a bad way.
They can bully and hurt people just because they are
different or because they have a disability.
Bullying can be against the law.
Bullying can be a disability hate crime. For example, these things could all be a
disability hate crime: A physical attack (if someone hits you or
Here are some of the reasons people commit (or do)
disability hate crimes:
Ignorance – this means they do not know
Prejudice – this means they do not think
about all people in a fair way.
Discrimination – this means they do not treat
all people in the same way.
We think disability hate crime is a very serious
People who commit (or do) disability hate crimes will
get a bigger punishment. This means if they go to
prison it will be for a longer time.
People who have had a crime happen to them can
be upset for a long time afterwards.
They might be scared to go out.
They might be scared to be in their own home.
Some people have moved house because of what
has happened to them.
We want to stop people doing crimes against
Everybody has a right to be kept safe and to feel
It is the job of the police, the Government and the
laws to help make this happen.
Our Justice System. In this country we have things called
These things are called our justice system.
They should help everybody feel safe.
It is everybody’s right to feel safe.
Who is this report by? This report is from the Crown Prosecution Service
or the CPS for short.
In this report we call ourselves the CPS. We are part of the Government.
We work with the police and the courts.
We want everyone, including disabled people and
their families, to trust the police and the CPS.
We think disability hate crime is a very serious crime.
We want to make sure that all people can get help
from the justice system if they need it.
(The justice system is the laws, the police and the
This means the police must look into all crimes and treat
The CPS must work with the police to make
sure they get all the facts and evidence.
(Evidence is all the facts and information about a
crime. Evidence can help prove if someone did a
crime or not.)
Courts must also treat everyone fairly. They
must give someone a bigger punishment if
that person has done a disability hate crime.
Disabled people should feel that they can trust
the police, the CPS and the courts.
Introduction. Crimes. There are many laws to do with crime.
In this country the law always sees people as
innocent first, before they are found guilty.
This means that the law treats people like they have
see them on a TV screen.
A witness can use a hearing loop or other
things to help them communicate.
A witness can get help from someone called
an intermediary. This person can help the
witness understand questions and make sure
the court understands what the witness is
If the witness finds it hard to be in court in front of
lots of people, the judge can also send everyone
away from the public seats or gallery.
Witness Support. Preparation and Profiling. This helps witnesses before they go to court. It
helps them understand what is going to happen.
This can be very important for a witness with a
It can also help other people know how to work well
that with person.
Witness Care Units. These are special teams of people run by the police
and the CPS.
A special person called a Witness Care Officer can
help the victim and witnesses who need support.
Support could be so there is someone doing sign language for
someone who finds it hard to hear or cannot hear.
People who find it hard to move around can use the court more easily.
Reporting restrictions. Sometimes the CPS will ask the judge to stop things
going into the newspapers, radio or TV.
There are rules about this.
The judge will only say yes to help the witness give
better evidence. It is about making things as easy as
possible for the witness.
The law and disability hate crime. Any type of crime can be a disability hate crime. First we have to prove someone has done a crime.
Then we have to prove to the court that the crime
was a disability hate crime.
There are two ways we can prove a crime is a disability
One. By what the criminal said or wrote when they did the crime.
Just before they did the crime.
Or just after they did the crime.
Two. If the person did a crime because they hate
We do not have to prove both of these things.
Mary’s story. Mary has Down’s syndrome. One day she went to
the post office. Outside a group of young men
started calling her names about being disabled. One
man took her bag, purse and her mobile phone.
Mary went back into the post office and they called
the police. They also called Mary’s friend who came
to support her.
The police talked to Mary and to people at the post
office. A witness saw him take Mary’s bag and
heard him shouting names about being disabled.
The case went to court and he was found guilty of
theft and because of what he had said about Mary’s
disability, he got a longer sentence.
It can be difficult to prove the reason why a person