The ‘Stand By Me’ campaign will run for 3 years and aims to raise the profile of disability hate crime as a serious issue that affects the lives of thousands of people with learning disabilities. Research carried out by Mencap dating back to 2000 discovered that 90% of people with a learning disability experienced harassment and bullying – with 32% saying it was taking place on a daily or weekly basis. However, even in 2009-10, figures from the Crown Prosecution Service showed that disability hate crime has a far smaller number of prosecutions (1,200) compared to those for racial and religious hatred (50,000).
It is this imbalance that Mencap is eager to address. Mark Goldring, Mencap’s chief executive, said: “Disability hate crime can range from bullying and harassment, through to assault, kidnap, rape and murder. “The ‘Stand By Me’ campaign will challenge the police, the criminal justice system and the courts to take the lead in ending hate crime against people with a learning disability within a generation. “We want to make sure that people with a learning disability stay safe and feel safe.”