Mencap's David Congdon talks about the launch of the charity's Stand By Me campaign against disability hate crime at Learning Disability Today London 2012.
Mencap often receives reports from around the country of people who are verbally abused, physically attacked, raped and murdered. In fact, as many as 9 out of 10 people with a learning disability have been a victim of hate crime and bullying. They might be seen as easy targets or valued less because of their disability. With your help, Mencap wants to change this. Disability hate crime is a serious offence, and if the courts recognise that a person was targeted because of their disability they can impose a heavier sentence. However, in many cases police, courts, local councils and other organisations have failed to do enough to protect people who experience daily harassment and abuse.
Mencap believes that: people with a learning disability should be free from the fear of hate crime all parts of the criminal justice system, including the police and courts, should work with people with a learning disability to stop hate crime.
Campaign successes: We have gained the support of 42 police services and 25 Police and Crime Commissioners for the campaign. We have put together a best practice guide called How to stand by me to recognise the work being done by local police forces. We have persuaded the government to increase the minimum sentences for disability hate crimes resulting in murder from 15 years to 30 years. We have seen disability hate crime debated in Parliament for the first time.
To find out more visit www.mencap.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns/take-action/stand-me