Gants Hill meeting to discuss the menace of disability hate crime

PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 March 2019

The event hopes to raise awareness about disability hate crime. Photo: John Stillwell/PA

The event hopes to raise awareness about disability hate crime. Photo: John Stillwell/PA

PA Archive/PA Images

The “hidden menace” of disability hate crime in Redbridge will be discussed at a public meeting.

On Monday, March 18, Redbridge Equalities and Community Council (RECC) has invited the chief executive of Stay Safe East, Ruth Bashall, to talk about what is being done to expose and address the issue.

David Landau of RECC said: “People are attacked and abused because they are in a wheelchair, they have problems seeing or hearing, have learning difficulties or mental health problems, are on the autistic spectrum.

“In some cases, people have been killed or driven to suicide.

“If you look at the police statistics you will find there are very few reported incidents of disability hate crime, but research shows that the majority of disabled people have experienced such abuse and harassment, so most of it is not being reported or recorded. “

Mr Landau explained that some people do not know that incidents happening to them are crimes, or do not have the confidence to report it for fear of not being taken seriously.

“Sometimes a crime is reported but not flagged up as motivated or aggravated by prejudice against people with a disability,” he added.

All residents are welcome to attend the meeting at the New Hall, Gants Hill United Reform Church, Ethelbert Gardens, at 7.30pm.

Doors open at 7pm and light refreshments will be available.

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