Disability Wales

The national association of disabled people's organisations

Disability Wales - your first port of call for information, comment, opinion and opportunities for getting involved in campaigning for disability equality.

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Disability Hate Crime

Photo of a girl being bullied

What is Disability Hate Crime?

Any incident or crime, which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated because of a person’s impairment or perceived impairment should be recorded as Disability Hate Crime. Although there is no specific legal definition of Disability Hate Crime, it is broadly accepted as being:

‘…any criminal offence, which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s impairment or perceived impairment.’

Disability Hate Crime can be experienced in many different ways and be committed against a person or property.

These include:

  • verbal abuse or insults – offensive leaflets and posters, abusive gestures, dumping of rubbish outside homes or through letterboxes, and bullying at school or in the workplace
  • physical attacks – such as physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti, neighbour disputes and arson
  • threat of attack – including offensive letters, abusive or obscene telephone calls, groups hanging around to intimidate and unfounded, malicious complaints
  • mate crime – the befriending of people, who are perceived by perpetrators to be vulnerable, for the purposes of taking advantage of, exploiting and/or abusing them. This can strongly be associated, but not exclusively associated, with people with learning difficulties.

Watch Disability Wales and Mencap Cymru explain Mate Crime https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr0ksYb3awc Link opens in a new window

Some people think that because a person may not be able to walk, or see, or need help with understanding things, or maybe hear voices, then they are a second class citizen and are thought of as weak or strange or different. They then think it is acceptable to call them names, take money off them, or beat them up. Some people think that if you have benefits or an adapted car or home then you are getting better treatment than them.

At Disability Wales we say that those attitudes are wrong and we challenge people who hold those views.

We say that:

  • having a physical or sensory impairment, learning difficulty or mental health condition does not make you less of a person
  • you have the same right to be here and be part of the community as anyone else
  • you are also entitled to be treated with respect and dignity