Just Another Day – Experiences of Disability Hate Crime

Just Another Day – Experiences of Disability Hate Crime

Bullying
Sue Graham is 42 years old and has a learning disability.  At the start of June, she was crossing a bridge in a quiet part of Edinburgh on her way to catch a bus.  3 young boys, probably not older than 12, approached her from the other side of the bridge, they stopped in front of her and called her an offensive name.  Sue didn’t know what to do.  She said afterwards “I could have run away but they would have caught me.  I just stood there.” The older boy asked her for money.  “After a minute, I just gave them everything I had and they went away,” Sue told us afterwards.  She was distressed and had to walk 2 miles to the meeting – her bus fares were part…
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Disability Hate Crime Rises Sharply by 270%

Disability Hate Crime Rises Sharply by 270%

Bullying
Hate crimes against the disabled have more than tripled in five years and prosecutors have warned the rise could be the tip of the iceberg. Reports of aggravation of prejudice relating to disability have risen by 270% from 48 in 2010/11 to 177 last year, official figures from the Crown Office have revealed. There was a 20% increase since 2013/14 alone. The report states: "There is a broad consensus that this type of crime continues to be under reported compared to other forms of hate crime. Both Police Scotland and COPFS (Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service) are engaged in a variety of activities aimed at increasing the level of awareness, especially amongst disability communities, that hate crime is unacceptable and should not be tolerated." The number of charges reported…
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Direct Payments- More Work Needed?

Direct Payments- More Work Needed?

Bullying
The Scottish Executive has sent out new information on Direct Payments encouraging more people to take some control over their own care planning.  Direct Payments should be seen in a wider context as one form of Self Directed Care. This is part of a plan to improve health through emphasising self-help and support.  It should also make it easier to get educational and employment opportunities. The new guidance says local authorities should: fund local support services to help people prepare early  for assessments and to manage their individual budgets. support training for people on using self directed support (and also for social work staff) name special self-directed support lead officers. Support employment of Personal Assistants by helping with enhanced disclosures and indemnity insurance. The guidance reminds councils that individual budgets…
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Does the new law on harassment work ?

Does the new law on harassment work ?

Bullying
A couple of years ago new legislation was passed which made it possible for those who attack people with learning disabilities to be treated more seriously. However the failure of the police or the Procurator Fiscal's office to use this legislation makes us wonder if it is any more than just window dressing. BBC Scotland reports that ""Two teenage girls carried out a prolonged ""degrading"" assault on a vulnerable young man Arbroath Sheriff Court has heard  Paige Sharp 16 and Danielle Sinclair 17 admitted assaulting the 21-year-old man who suffered from learning difficulties.  Read the story here. The intensity, nature and duration of their attack indicates that the girls knew they were attacking someone with learning disabilities and took advantage of this.  Yet they have not been charged under the…
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Living in Fear

Living in Fear

Bullying
A survey by Mencap of people with a learning disability has found that nearly nine out of ten respondents have experienced bullying in the last year. Two-thirds are bullied on a regular basis and almost one-third are suffering from bullying on a daily or weekly basis. People with a learning disability face prejudice and widespread discrimination that often makes them feel like outcasts and prevents them from taking a full part in society. Public attitudes in the United Kingdom towards people with a learning disability remain discriminatory. The Mencap survey suggests that the bullying of people with a learning disability is institutionalised throughout society. Nearly nine out of ten people (88%) with a learning disability reported being bullied within the last year. Living In Fear demonstrates that people with a…
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Respect Diary

Respect Diary

Bullying
The Learning Disability Alliance Scotland has produced a “Respect Diary” which is a simple system for people with learning disabilities to keep a record of incidents that they are concerned about.   Many people hesitate to record small incidents but they can lead on to many.  This diary can record these and then be used as evidence to involve authorities in more action later on.   This can be downloaded here.
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Council and special school threatened with legal action over use of ‘calm room’

Council and special school threatened with legal action over use of ‘calm room’

Bullying
A local authority and a community special school are facing legal action on behalf of two autistic pupils over the use of a ‘calm room’ to manage their behaviours. Law firm Leigh Day, which is acting for the claimants, said the pupils were allegedly ‘detained’ in the room at Abbey Hill School in Stoke on Trent for “for prolonged periods, where they defecated and urinated and showed other signs of considerable stress and anxiety”. The claimants are now at alternative specialist autism centres. In a letter to the school, Leigh Day claimed the two pupils had been “subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment and that the use of the ‘calm room’ for extended periods, without appropriate safeguards in place, was an unlawful act as it deprived pupils of their liberty”.…
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Congratulations to the Us and Housing Group

Congratulations to the Us and Housing Group

Bullying
One of LDAS's members has won a very important award for their work on harassment and bullying.  There were  winners of the 2014 Frances Nelson MBE Awards in Tayside. Us and Housing are a group of people with learning disabilities who came together in June 2011 at a conference to discuss housing issues. The conference showed that people suffered daily discrimination which led to group to work with Perth & Kinross Council to produce an educational DVD and learning resources to challenge injustice and inequality. The DVD titled ‘It Goes On and On and On’ is a series of short dramas that explore and expose the discrimination faced by people with learning disabilities. A clip from the DVD can be viewed on the TIS website at www.tis.org.uk.
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Our New Third Party Reporting Centre map

Our New Third Party Reporting Centre map

Bullying
Hate Crime—Still A Problem LDAS is taking part in a working group along with Police Scotland a number of other voluntary organisations and users groups that looks at Hate Crime against people with learning disabilities. Some useful initiatives include the Safe Places system which signs up local shops to provide a place for people being bullied to go and wait safely till the threat has passed. Others include new training and response information for Police Officers on the beat designed by Cornerstone. 3rd party reporting is another  initiative that has been going for some time.  While Police Scotland have taken big steps to become more approachable, some people are still wary about going to them directly.  They worry that they might not be able to explain themselves and may get…
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Hate Crime judgement too weak

Hate Crime judgement too weak

Bullying
Another shocking story of everyday hate crime against people with learning disabilities in Scotland.  Ivor Miller was waiting at a Glasgow street corner when a pack of hate filled young men and women started to taunt and punch him.  A chase began which ended with Mr Miller falling out of a 2nd floor window.   This dedicated hunt left Mr Miller in fear of his life and the gang waiting outside pubs he was hiding in until they could start the chase. On Tuesday, despite the judge calling the gang a "pack of animals" only one was sentenced to a custodial sentence, 3 others were give 150 hours community service and a fifth had their sentence deferred. What led to Mr Millier sustaining serious fractures of his legs and back…
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