Rob, a volunteer, with Sam, a resident, in his bedroom at Lavender Fields

Disability hate crime

Find what disability hate crime is and what steps you can take if you see it happen or it happens to you.

What is disability hate crime?

Disability hate crime is a criminal offence which is perceived by the victim – or any other person – to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s disability or perceived disability. 

Hate crime can take place in person, online or by phone. It includes things like verbal and physical abuse, harassment, threatening behaviour and intimidation or damage to property.

Sometimes it is a one-off incident from a stranger, other times it’s an ongoing pattern of behaviour. 

What can I do to stop disability hate crime?

If you’ve been a victim of disability hate crime, or know someone who has been a victim, you can report it if you feel safe to do so.

Report it to the police

You can report it to the police by calling 101 or by filling out their online form.

You can also report it online with your regional police force on their own websites.

If you’d prefer to speak to someone in person, you can also visit your local police station to report the crime.

Report social media hate crime

If you see disability hate crime taking place online, you can report it directly to the website, platform or forum.

Here are some useful links:

Respond to the Law Commission’s Consultation

The Law Commission is conducting a consultation as part of a proposal to reform the communications offences.

The proposals include a move to criminalise behaviour where communication would likely cause harm. This would include emails, social media posts and WhatsApp messages. 

You can add your thoughts as organisations and members of the public are encouraged to feed into this consultation

The consultation is open until December 2020.

Sign our social media pledge

Join us in our pledge this National Hate Crime Awareness Week to drive down disability hate crime on social media and support victims.

I pledge to:

  • Call out disability hate crime – if I see offensive language being used or witness abuse, I will report it to the social media platform or to the police.
  • Take the time to learn about disability hate crime and have conversations with my friends about its impact.
  • Be an ally – reach out to victims, show my support, help them report the crime and offer to be a witness if they need one.
  • Take part in the Law Commission’s consultation to help reform law so that harmful online behaviour is classed as a criminal offence. 
  • Share this pledge with my friends and families and show my solidarity with victims of online disability hate crime.

Pledge your name

Stay in touch

We’d like to keep you updated about how we support disabled people to live, learn and work as independently as they choose.

We’ll let you know how you can support our vision and get involved through fundraising, volunteering and campaigning opportunities.

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You can update or remove your personal details any time by contacting us by email at supporter@leonardcheshire.org or by calling us on 0300 303 0074.