Disability Hate Crime. A report about crimes against disabled people



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Disability Hate Crime.

A report about crimes against

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.

Rose Court

2 Southwark Bridge

London SE1 9HS


Or telephone 020 335 70913
Useful words.
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

in court.


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

them.
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 include


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

disabled people.


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

hurts you).


Being spat at.
Stealing from you.
We think disability hate crime should not be

happening.


Here are some of the reasons people commit (or do)

disability hate crimes:


Ignorance – this means they do not know

any better.


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.


Hate.
We think disability hate crime is a very serious

crime.
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

disabled people.


Everybody has a right to be kept safe and to feel

safe.
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

Laws.
The police.


The courts.
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

courts).
This means the police must look into all crimes and treat

people fairly.


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

not done the crime at first, even if they have done

the crime.


After that the person might go to court and tell the

court that they have done the crime.


Or the court might decide that the person has done

the crime.


When things go to court we call it a case.
Disability hate crimes.
When we can prove that a crime was done because

a person felt hostility or hatred about a disabled

person then the crime can be called a disability

hate crime.
Hostility and hatred are ways to feel about

someone.
If you feel hostility or hatred about a person it

means that you feel a bad way about them.
The court must say if they think a crime is a disability

hate crime.


They must give the person that did the crime a

bigger punishment.


Support for disabled

people in court.
We want to support disabled people and their

families in court to make it as easy as possible for

them.
We want to support disabled people who are

victims or witnesses.
Victims are people that have had crime happen to

them.
Witnesses are people that have seen a crime

happen.
The witness.
Witnesses are important people because they can

tell the court about a crime. For example, they can

tell the court what they saw and what they think

happened.


The things they tell the court is called evidence.
When the witness goes to court other people in the

court will see them. For example, people who sit in

the public seats or gallery.
The defendant will also be there in the court.

The defendant is the person accused of the crime.

This can make the witness feel worried.
There are ways to help a witness so that they do not

feel worried about giving evidence to the court.


Sometimes a witness can say things in the court but

they do not have to be in the court room.


Special measures.
The CPS can ask the court to give extra help for

young people and disabled people who are

witnesses.
This help is to support the witnesses so they can give

the best possible evidence.


The court can give help in different ways.
For example a witness can speak from behind a screen so

that they do not need to look at the defendant.


A witness can go to another room and talk to

a camera. The court and the defendant can

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

saying.
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

learning disability.


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

hate crime.


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.
OR

Two. If the person did a crime because they hate

disabled people.
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

has done a crime if the person does not say why

they did it.

The court must look at evidence to decide if the

person did the crime or not.

Evidence is all the facts and information about the

crime.
Shareenah’s story.


Shareenah lives with her husband. She is in a

wheelchair after she had a car accident. One

evening a brick was thrown through a window in

their flat.


Shareenah’s neighbour saw the man who did it. He

did not say anything that day but the neighbour

had seen him throwing things at Shareenah’s

windows before and had heard him say that he

hated people in wheelchairs.
The case went to court and the man was found

guilty of criminal damage. Because of what the

man had done and said in the past, the court

believed he had done this damage because he did

not like disabled people. The court said that this

was a disability hate crime and gave the man a

more serious punishment.
It can be difficult to prove the reason why a person has

done a crime if the person does not say why they did it.


The court must look at evidence to decide if the person

Did the crime or not.


Evidence is all the facts and information about the crime.
A person will go to prison for a longer time or get a

bigger punishment if they plead guilty (this means if they tell the court

that they did the crime).
If they are found guilty of a crime.
If there is proof that the crime was a disability

hate crime.


If the person goes to prison it will be for a longer

time.
We hope this will stop people doing disability hate

crimes.
We also want to make sure disabled people who are

victims or witnesses are given the help and support

that they need.
We want disabled people to trust the police and the

CPS.
Not every crime that is done to a disabled person is

a disability hate crime.

Some crimes are done by people who see disabled

people as weak. Or they think it is easy to do things

to disabled people because of their disability.

The court will see these crimes are very serious. But

the court will only treat them as a disability hate

crime if we can prove that it was a disability hate

crime in the two ways that we have talked about.


Omar’s story.
Omar lives in his own home, has a learning

disability and finds it difficult to see. One of the

carers, Simon, helps him with his benefits and

paying his bills.


Omar’s mother went to see her son. She was very

worried because he had not got the gift vouchers

she had sent him for this birthday and she could

not find any of his money. She called the police.


After the police talked to Omar, Simon and the

neighbours, they found out that Simon had stolen

money and the gift vouchers.
The case went to court and Simon was found guilty

of theft. The court said this was a serious offence

because Simon had taken advantage of Omar, but

this was not a disability hate crime because there

was no evidence of “hostility”.
Sometimes, we might not be able to prove that a

crime is a disability hate crime or a crime done by someone who

thought that the disabled person was weak or easy to do

things to.


The Police.
The police have the job of keeping us all safe.
When a crime happens the police investigate it.
This means they look at what happened and get all

the facts about the crime. This is called evidence.


They talk to the different people involved. For

example the victim – the person that the crime has

happened to.
The witness or witnesses – someone or people

who saw what happened.


The suspect or suspects – the people the

police think did the crime.

With a disability hate crime we may ask the police to

talk to other people like social services, doctors or

groups working with disabled people.

Sometimes a disability hate crime goes on for a long

time. The person that did the crime may have been

bullying lots of disabled people. It is important that

we know about this before a case goes to court.


The Crown Prosecution Service – The CPS.
This is how we work together with the police.
The police give us all the evidence they have

about a crime.


We look at the evidence the police have given

us.
We decide if the crime can go to court. When

a crime goes to court it is called a charge.
We have to follow lots of laws and rules to make

sure we are fair and do our job well.


We want to find out if a crime is a disability hate

crime very quickly.


We want to make sure the police look for any

evidence of disability hate crime.


This helps us make the right decisions when we

make charges.


It can be very difficult for some disabled people to

tell anyone about bad things that are happening to

them.
They may worry that things will only get worse if

they tell the police.

We know it can be hard for disabled people who are

in hospital, a care home or in their own home.


It is very important that the police know about all

crimes that have happened to disabled people.


We want to support disabled people so that they

feel they can tell the police if a crime has happened

to them. And so that the crime can go to court.
We also want to make sure that victims who are

disabled are treated fairly as well.


We will check up and do reports on how things are

going.
The Evidence.


Before the CPS can take a case to court we have to

look very carefully at all the facts and the evidence.

We have a code or set of rules to follow to help us.

The first test – the evidence.
The evidence is all the facts and information about

the crime. Evidence can be things like what the witnesses

say about what happened.
Things like a knife or another weapon that

was used to do the crime.


Things that were stolen in a robbery and were

found afterwards.


Photographs or videos taken by CCTV that

show what happened.


We have to be sure that the evidence is good

Enough to get the person charged with the crime.


To get the person to court.
To get the person found guilty of the crime.
Lots of things can change in court and the person

may not be found guilty.


Sometimes a witness may decide not to go to court

or they change what they say.


Sometimes we think the evidence will not be good

enough.
If this happens then the case will not go to court –

even if the crime is serious.
The second test – the public interest.
If a case passes the first test, then we think about

how important the case is for everyone – not just

for the people involved. We call this the public

interest test.
We will always think very carefully about what is

right for the victim and the witnesses. Sometimes we

say the case can go to court even if they do not

want us to.


Crimes against disabled people are very serious. This

means we are very likely to take cases of disability

hate crime to court.
Here are some of the reasons we will say that a case

can go to court.
If the crime is serious.
If the victim is hurt badly.
If weapons were used (like a knife or a gun).

If threats were made to the victim before or

after the attack. A threat is where a person

says they will do something to someone else,

even though they might not do it. For

example, they might say they will hurt the

person.

The crime was planned.


The crime could happen again.
We are worried about the victim and anyone

else involved.


The person that did the crime and the victim

know each other.


The person has done crimes before –

especially if they have hurt disabled people

before.
If we decide that the crime cannot go to court we

will always tell the victim our reasons why.


We will do this in a way that the victim finds easy to

understand.


We will put things into easy read for people with a

learning disability, for example.


Before court.
It can be a difficult time for the victim and witnesses

before a case goes to court.


If we think the victim and witnesses are in danger

we will ask the court to put the defendant in prison.


The defendant is the person that is accused of doing

the crime.


Or we can ask that the defendant cannot go to

certain places.


For example we can ask that the defendant cannot

go near the victim or any witnesses.


We will work with the police and courts to let the

victim and witnesses know what is happening.


The police will ask the victim to make a Victim

Personal Statement. This is where the victim tells

the police about how they feel and how the crime has affected

them.
If they feel scared or they think they are not

Safe.
The support they need to go to court.


The victim wants to stop the case going to

Court.
Sometimes the victim does not want the case to go

to court.


We will work with the police to try and find out

why.
The victim will have to say why they want to stop.

It can be that somebody has told them to stop. Or

they are scared. Or someone might have threatened

them.

We need to know about this and so will the court.
The police will look into this and more changes may

be made.
If we decide the case can still go to court, we will

think about different things, like the public interest.
Using the victim’s statement (even if they do not

go to court).


Seeing if we can help the victim with extra

support.
Talking to the police about making the victim go

to court.
We will always try and do the best things for the

victim – but we have to think about the wider public

interest too.
We will always try to talk to the victim and witnesses

so they know what we are doing.


The court.
The judge or magistrates are in charge in court.
All the facts and evidence will be given to the judge

or magistrates.


The CPS will always say if they think the crime is a

disability hate crime.


The person who is charged with the crime is called

the defendant.


The defendant usually has someone called a lawyer

to help them.


Sometimes the defendant pleads guilty. This is when

the defendant tells the court that they did the crime.


If the defendant says they did not do the crime

there will be something called a trial.


A trial is when the witnesses and the defendant tell

the court what happened.


Then the judge or magistrates decide if the

defendant is guilty or not.


If the defendant is found guilty this means they did

do the crime.


Then the judge or magistrates decide on the

punishment or how long the defendant will go to

prison for.
For disability hate crime the court should give the

defendant a bigger punishment.


At the end of court – the

Sentence.

When a defendant says they are guilty or are found

guilty by the court, they are then sentenced.

A sentence is the punishment for the crime they did.
In cases of disability hate crime, the judge or

magistrates have to make a decision. They have to

decide if the crime is, or is not, a disability hate

crime.
The judge or the magistrates have to listen to what

the witnesses say about the defendant.
The witnesses might tell the court what the defendant said or wrote

when they did the crime.


Or about the defendant’s reason for doing the

crime.
The judge and magistrate will also listen to what the

defendant has to say about the crime.
If the judge or magistrate think that the crime is a

disability hate crime after they have heard all the

evidence, they must say so.
They must also give the defendant a bigger

punishment.


Keeping records of disability

hate crime.
We will keep a check on all cases of disability hate

crime.
This is so we can see if we are doing a good job and

making the justice system fair for disabled people.
Here is a list of groups of people that can help you if you

are disabled or if you want some information about

disabilities.

Ann Craft Trust.
The Ann Craft Trust works to keep people with

learning disabilities safe if they are in danger of

being hurt or abused.
They also give advice and information to parents and

carers who might be worried about someone they

care for.


Write to.
Centre for Social Work.

University of Nottingham.

University Park.

Nottingham.

NG7 2RD.

Telephone. 0115 9515400.

Fax. 0115 9515232.

Website. www.anncrafttrust.org


Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) works to

make sure people with disabilities are treated in the

right way.
You can call the EHRC if you want some

information or have a question about disabilities.



Telephone. 0845 604 6610

Textphone. 0845 604 6620.

Fax. 0845 604 6630.
Write to.

Freepost RRLL-GHUX-CTRX

Arndale House, Arndale Centre,

Manchester

M4 3AQ

Website. www.equalityhumanrights.com

Mencap.
Mencap is a big charity that works with and for

people with a learning disability and their families

and carers in the UK.
Write to.

123 Golden Lane.

London.

EC1Y 0RT.



Telephone. 020 7454 0454

Fax. 020 7608 3254

Website. www.mencap.org.uk

Liverpool City Council – Investigations Support

Unit
The Investigations Support Unit helps people, including

people with a learning disability, to be a witness.

It helps them know what they have to do, and what

will happen if they are a witness.


Write to.

Investigations Support Unit.

Liverpool City Council.

Community Safety.

c/o Municipal Buildings.

Dale Street.

Liverpool

L2 2DH.
Telephone. 0151 233 4994 or

0151 233 4987.

Fax. 0151 233 4990.

Email. Investigations.support@liverpool.gov.uk.



Respond.
Respond gives help and support to people with a

learning disability who have been abused (hurt) by

someone or who have abused (hurt) someone else.

Respond also gives training and support to professionals

and carers.
Write to.

3rd Floor.

24-32 Stephenson Way.

London.


NW1 2HD.

Telephone. 020 7383 0700.

Fax. 020 7387 1222.

You can also telephone the helpline on



0808 808 0700.

Website. www.respond.org.uk.

Voice UK.
Voice UK helps people with learning disabilities and

other people who have had crime happen to them.

It also helps families, carers and professional

workers.
Write to.

Rooms 100-106 Kelvin House

RTC Business centre

London Road

Derby DE24 8UP



Helpline. 080 880 2 8686

Telephone. 01332 291042

Fax. 01332 2207567

Website www.voiceuk.org.uk

Victim Support
Victim Support is a charity that helps people who

have had crime happen to them or who have been

affected by crime.

It also helps people that will go to court if they have

had crime happen to them or they will be a witness.

It helps them before, during and after they go to

court.


Telephone. 0845 30 30 900.

Website. www.victimsupport.org.uk.

Easy read words by Mencap.


Thanks to Valuing People Clip Art collection and Dave Barlow for most

of the pictures.


Crown Prosecution Service.

This booklet is a public document. It is

available on the

CPS website: www.cps.gov.uk.
Produced by the Equality & Diversity

Unit and the Policy Directorate.

February 2007.
Further copies may be obtained from

CPS Communications Branch.

Rose Court

2 Southwark Bridge

London

SE1 9HS

Tel: 020 335 70913.

Email: publicity.branch@cps.gsi.gov.uk.
This booklet is available in audio.

Contact CPS Communications Branch for details.




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