Metropolitan Police pledge to tackle disability hate crime

The Metropolitan Police Service and Mencap have joined forces in a pledge to tackle hate crime towards those with learning disabilities.

The pledge, which is part of Mencap’s ‘Stand by me’ campaign, asks police to commit to a policing promise that will help towards ensuring people with a learning disability can live their lives free from the fear of hate crime.

‘Stand by me’ aims to engage the police, the criminal justice system and the courts to end hate crime against people with a learning disability within a generation.

The ‘Stand by me’ policing promise covers ten points, which Mencap are asking the police to make a pledge to support. The ten-point pledge includes: ensuring that victims are kept up to date with the progress of the case once they have reported a crime; recognising that disability hate crime is as harmful as other types of hate crime; don’t label disability hate crime as anti-social behaviour – identify the crime and deal with it and hold regular beat meetings and ensure they are open to disabled people.

Mencap estimates that nationally, as many as nine out of ten people with a learning disability are verbally harassed or exposed to violence due to their disability, which has a long lasting impact on how they live their lives.

In addition to committing to fulfilling all ten points of the charter, all 32 London boroughs have a dedicated Community Safety Unit with more than 500 specially trained officers across the MPS who investigate hate crime.

Commander Steve Rodhouse, said: “The Met is committed to tackling all forms of hate crime and recognises the significant impact disability related harassment and crime has on communities.

“We are committed to fulfilling all ten points of the charter and we are working with Mencap, disabled people’s organisations and our Disability Independent Advisory Group to further develop how victims can best be supported and to enhance their trust and confidence in the Metropolitan Police.”

The Met have developed an interactive disability hate crime training package for recruits, hold regular beat meetings and ensure they are open to disabled people and use ‘intermediaries’ and trained specialists interviewers to get the best possible evidence from a victim who has difficulty communicating.

Mark Goldring, Mencap Chief Executive, said: “We welcome the support of the UK’s largest police force in ensuring that all victims of disability hate crime receive appropriate support and access to justice and we urge all police forces to sign up to our Stand by me campaign.

“Hate crime is a serious issue for disabled people and their families. Without the full support of the police many disability hate crime victims have been left to suffer in silence.”

There are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability and their families and carers by fighting to change laws and improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities.

For more information on the ‘Stand by me’ campaign and charter, and to show your support, visit

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