Crime and disabled people: Measures of disability-related harassment 2016

Wednesday, 14 September, 2016
Extract from the report:  The Equality and Human Rights Commission (the Commission) is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006. It operates independently to encourage equality and diversity, eliminate unlawful discrimination, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. It encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act 1998 and is accredited by the UN as an ‘A status’ National Human Rights Institution. An inquiry into disability-related harassment by the Commission in 2010/11 led to the report ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2011). This report found that many people who experience such harassment see it as a commonplace part of everyday life, rather than as 'hate crime'. Police records provide information about the number of such crimes that are reported. However, the number of people who experience disability-related harassment may be considerably higher. The 2012 report ‘Out in the open – tackling disability-related harassment: a manifesto for change,' (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2012) which followed the initial inquiry, noted that, while data currently available do not give a full picture of disability-related harassment, national crime surveys – specifically the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) (formerly the British Crime Survey) and the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey (SCJS) – provide information on disabled people's experiences of crime, disability hate crime, and the extent to which disabled people report crime that they have experienced. The report identified a set of six measures from these surveys that can help to gauge progress over time. In 2013, research was undertaken to analyse the statistics for these measures. The findings were published in a Commission research report on ‘Crime and disabled people’ (Coleman, Sykes and Walker, 2013), and used to inform the Manifesto for Change Progress Report, published in the same year (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2013). The statistical analysis has now been updated, by Independent Social Research who carried out the 2013 analysis, and the findings are reported here for five of the original measures for which data are still collected. They, in turn, form part of ‘Tackling disability-related harassment: progress report 2016’ (EHRC, 2016).   


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