The number of disability hate crime offences recorded in Lincolnshire has trebled in the last two years according to new police figures.
In 2012 there was 18 offences recorded by police compared with just 6 in 2010.
Freedom of Information laws also revealed that offences in the county included physical assault, verbal harassment, burglary and damage to property but only 3 people have been charged in as many years.
A disability hate crime is defined as any criminal offence perceived to be motivated by discrimination or hostility because of their disability.
Wesley Shelbourne from Just Lincolnshire, an organisation which promotes equality, says the rise isn’t necessarily a negative trend;
“I think the interesting thing about the statistics is whether you take that hate crime is increasing or that the reporting of hate crime is increasing which are two very different things.”
However a 2012 report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission highlighted how only 3% of disability hate crimes are reported, and a recent survey by disability charity Mencap found that 9 in 10 people with a learning disability have been bullied.
Mencap’s Campaigns and Policy Officer Jo Davies said, “Things that we think are absolutely awful just become part of everyday life for many disabled people.
“They have a perception the police wouldn’t do anything anyway and often think they’re not going to listen and will not believe them.”
In 2007 Mencap launched the Stand By Me campaign, which involves working with police to improve the ways to tackle hate crime.
Davies said; “40 out of 44 forces have signed a police promise, which is 10 pledges to improve their overall response to disability hate crime.”
She also added how the 2012 Paralympics generated positive coverage of disability, but doesn’t think it’s going to change attitudes enough to reduce hate crimes and leave a legacy to stand on.
To hear more from Mencap’s Jo Davies, victims of disability hate crime and the hope provided by the London 2012 Paralympics, then listen to the audio.
To find out more details about the Stand By Me campaign you can also visit: