Friday, 24 June 2011

Research into the reporting of disability hate crime in Birmingham

A request for your support from Birmingham Disability Network on behalf of West Midlands Police

West Midlands Police are carrying out research into the reporting of disability hate crime in Birmingham and have asked us to contact local disability organisations or other community groups who work with disabled people and carers to ask for your assistance.

Disability hate crime is a very serious issue and can be distressing for victims, even leading to deaths through suicide or murder.

However, disability hate crime is not widely reported compared to other forms of hate crime, such as race and faith motivated hate crime.

West Midlands Police are committed to finding out why people may not be reporting disability hate crime and have launched a survey in order to get more evidence from disabled people and carers who may have been affected by crime generally and disability hate crime specifically.

The survey is interested in the views of disabled people and carers who have suffered any crime, regardless of whether it was hate crime or not. Collecting information and personal experience across a range of crime will help to assess whether disability hate crime is being identified properly, whether all parties understand what hate crime is and whether the police themselves are recording and dealing with it properly.

In the survey, people therefore have the opportunity to state whether they feel a crime was due to their disability. The survey is also interested in gauging people's views on the police in general, how do they feel about the police, what was their experience in reporting any type of crime and did they encounter any barriers?

The questionnaire is on the website of West Midlands Police at this link:

The questionnaire has 20 questions, many of which require a simple yes or no answer whilst others have boxes for people to type in more details about their personal experience. The survey is completely anonymous and confidential and can take as little time as five minutes to complete.

The information provided will help West Midlands Police to plan how they specifically respond to disability hate crime effectively in the future but also ensure that the service of the police to disabled people and carers reporting any sort of crime is first class.

We would ask your organisation to encourage your staff, members or service users who may have experienced any sort of crime to fill out one of the questionnaires online. You can also contact us if you require hard copies of the questionnaire, though we would encourage you to support individuals to complete the questionnaire online where possible.

In view of the serious potential impact of hate crime on the lives of individual disabled people and carers, we would urge you to support this survey.

Thank you for your attention.

Peter Millington

Information and Community Empowerment Manager

Birmingham Disability Resource Centre

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