Police pledge to help victims of disability crime

Cleveland Police Chief Constable Jacqui Cheere.
Cleveland Police Chief Constable Jacqui Cheere.

POLICE chiefs have vowed to continue to train officers in dealing with crimes against disabled people.

Chief Constable of Cleveland Police Jacqui Cheer and Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger made the pledge following a document called the Joint Review of Disability Hate Crime being published by the Criminal Justice Joint Inspection.

Incidents can take the form of name calling in the street, serious assaults, and deliberate deception of vulnerable people with disabilities – all of which are completely unacceptable.

Jacqui Cheer, Chief Constable

The document is a review of how the police, CPS and probation trusts deals with disability hate crime, and how performance can be improved.

The report is a follow-up on an initial review in March 2013 by the Chief Inspectors of the Criminal Justice Inspectorates.

The latest documentsays reports of such crime should increase.

Today Cleveland Police said it was confident that reporting is going in the right direction, with a large increase in disabled people or carers reporting hate crime.

In 2014-2015 the force saw a 145 per cent increase in reported disability hate incidents and 138 per cent increase in reported disability hate crimes when compared with 2013-2014.

Last year Mr Coppinger also launched a 15-minute training film for officers and staff.

He said: “We dealt with the issue head-on by raising awareness of ways in which to report crime.

“Incidents can take the form of name calling in the street, serious assaults, and deliberate deception of vulnerable people with disabilities – all of which are completely unacceptable.

“We felt it important that officers were able to identify where a crime has a disability hate element and how to raise awareness of reporting with victims, carers and families.”

Chief Con Cheer added that the force is constantly trying to improve its services, saying: “We have achieved a great deal in listening to what this sector of the community need and delivering on those needs – but we know there is still further work to be done to ensure those who require our support most are given it . We will continue to work with our partners to ensure these needs are met.”