North Yorkshire Police show commitment to end hate crime
10:53am 21st December 2011
North Yorkshire Police have signed up to Mencap’s ‘Stand by me’ police promise to show their commitment to ending hate crime against people with a learning disability.
Mencap launched the ‘Stand by me’ campaign during Learning Disability Week 2010 and calls on police services to commit to a police promise that will help make sure people with a learning disability can live their lives free from the fear of crime.
North Yorkshire Police has committed to fulfilling all nine points of the charter.
Alongside the policing promise Mencap will work with North Yorkshire Police to develop practical guidance and spell out the adjustments they need to make to sure they can support victims with a learning disability.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Iain Spittal said:
“North Yorkshire Police are pleased to be supporting the Mencap Stand by me campaign. Any crime where the victim feels they are being targeted because of their disability is unacceptable and we recognise that disability related hate crime is as serious as any other hate crime.
“We are working hard to establish closer links with disability groups and our partner agencies in the communities we serve, to ensure we are providing the highest quality of service for all. I encourage people to be confident in reporting disability related hate crime to North Yorkshire Police.”
David Congdon, Mencap’s head of campaigns and policy, said:
“Many police services are doing good work, and their response is getting better. Other services are still failing to support victims of disability hate crime.
“Through the ‘Stand by me’ campaign we want to make sure that all police services are following the example set by the best services. We welcome North Yorkshire Police's commitment to constantly strive to uphold these standards and help end disability hate crime in a generation.”
For more information on the 'Stand by me' campaign and charter, and to show your support, click here.
‘Stand by me’ – policing promise
Mencap are asking police services to pledge to:
1. Make sure that information is available and presented in a suitable form.
2. Get better evidence and increase convictions by allowing more time for interviews, particularly where the victim has difficulty communicating.
3. Understand how to identify if someone has a learning disability.
4. Listen to, respect and involve families, carers and support staff of disabled people.
5. Challenge discriminatory attitudes and language among fellow officers.
6. Ensure that victims are kept up to date with the progress of the case once they have reported a crime.
7. Recognise that disability hate crime is as harmful as other types of hate crime.
8. Don’t label disability hate crime as anti-social behaviour – identify the crime and deal with it.
9. Hold regular beat meetings and ensure they are open to disabled people.
10. Display the 'Stand by me' promises where everyone can see them.
About Stand by me
Any crime where the victim or any other person, feels they are being targeted because of their disability is a disability hate crime. Research shows that these crimes have a far bigger impact than other crimes and often leave victims afraid to engage in everyday activity.
‘Stand by me’ aims to engage the police, the criminal justice system and the courts to end hate crime against people with a learning disability within a generation. For more information or to sign up to the campaign, go to www.mencap.org.uk/standbyme
Mencap supports the 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK and their families and carers. Mencap fights to change laws, improve services and increase access to education, employment and leisure facilities, supporting thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they choose.
We are also the largest service provider of services, information and advice for people with a learning disability across England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
click here for more information.
About learning disability
A learning disability is caused by the way the brain develops before, during or shortly after birth. It is always lifelong and affects someone's intellectual and social development. It used to be called mental handicap but this term is outdated and offensive. Learning disability is not a mental illness.
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