DAA News Network

UK: Hate crime against disabled people in Wales exposed in BBC documentary

Posted 24/1-10 at 23.44

In Wales in 2009, police recorded 116 hate crimes against disabled people. There were only 18 convictions.

A recent documentary, ‘Why do you hate me?' for BBC One Wales suggests many more incidents go unrecorded. The programme, is presented by Simon Green, a wheelchair user from Bridgend, who secretly filmed a couple of his nights out to expose the hostility and abuse he sometimes experiences.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Kier Starmer QC, admitted that the justice system did not always get it right when dealing with disability hate crime. He said: "I think there are lots and lots of incidents of disability hate crime...we haven't collectively picked them up and investigated and prosecuted them in the way we should."

In one incident highlighted in the programme, a 77-year-old disabled woman and her daughter tell Green that they had called police 60 times in the last five years, but only the latest incident - their car being vandalized - had been categorised as a hate crime. Chief Supt Paul Symes, for Gwent Police, said, "I will do my upmost to ensure that this is not a Pilkington case for Gwent Police. I'm aware of what the learning was within Pilkington, part of that involved some criticism around some perception that agencies weren't working together."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/8437523.stm

A report on disability hate crime in Wales can be found in the August edition of our newsletter

Reports on case of Fiona and Francecca Pilkington can be found on our website:

http://www.daa.org.uk/index.php?mact=Blogs,cntnt01,showentry,0&cntnt01entryid=57&cntnt01returnid=98

http://www.daa.org.uk/index.php?mact=Blogs,cntnt01,showentry,0&cntnt01entryid=66&cnatnt01returnid=98

http://www.daa.org.uk/index.php?mact=Blogs,cntnt01,showentry,0&cntnt01entryid=64&cntnt01returnid=98

A conference on disability hate crime held in October 2009 in Kent can be seen on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiLqXmkfHdo

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