Tackling Hate Crime
For many years ENABLE Glasgow has been campaigning against bullying and abuse of people with learning disability, and has been represented on the voluntary sector group that feeds into the Glasgow Adult Protection Committee. Linked to this, we have recently also been involved with work in Glasgow to combat what is described as Hate Crime, that is, crime against the person that is motivated by prejudice.
Being bullied is one of the single most common problems reported by people with learning disability, ranging from name calling or general disrespect, to quite serious crimes against the person. Often such bullying can prove a real barrier to someone with a learning disability having a normal life in their community. We believe that this is unacceptable and should be challenged wherever it occurs.
The Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Act 2009 provides for statutory aggravations for crimes motivated by malice and ill will towards an individual based on their sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability. Where offences are proven to be as a result of such malice or ill-will, the court must take that into account when determining sentence. This can lead to a longer custodial sentence or higher fine or a different type of disposal.
Current work in Glasgow, which involves voluntary organisations, statutory organisations, housing bodies and Police Scotland, focuses on making sure that hate crimes do not go unreported, and that people likely to be on the receiving end of such abuse have recourse to safe ways of reporting this. A system through which people can report such crime without going directly to the police has been established, and ENABLE Glasgow is one of a network of 3rd Party Reporting centres in the city. If you don’t want to go to the Police, come to us or another 3rd Party Reporting centre, and we will be glad to help.