Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore took part in the final leg of the Suffolk’s Hate Crime Service tour of the county yesterday (Friday, October 18) as part of Hate Crime Awareness Week 2013
Mr Passmore visited Orwell Mencap Genesis to sign the Mencap ‘Stand By Me’ Pledge.
Mencap has been asking Police Force’s and Police and Crime Commissioners to pledge their support to people who become victims of crime because of their disability.
Deputy Chief Constable Paul Marshall signed the Stand by Me Pledge, on behalf of Suffolk Constabulary, during Learning Disability Week in June 2011.
Mencap is highlighting the issues of Disability Hate Crime during Hate Crime Awareness Week and working with organisations across the county to help people understand more about hate crime specifically directed at people with a disability and rallying support to try to stop it.
People with a learning disability should be free from the fear of hate crime and Mencap launched this campaign to encourage all parts of the criminal justice system, including the police and courts, to work together to stop hate crime.
It is a shocking and horrible fact that as many as nine out of ten people with a learning disability have been a victim of hate crime and bullying; often seen as an easy target.
Mr Passmore: “I pledged to support the ‘Stand by me’ campaign when I was elected nearly a year ago and I will continue to support Mencap in this campaign to end hate crime and I encourage others to do the same.
“It is a terrible reflection on our society that people with learning disabilities are often more likely to be a victim of hate crime.
“This is disgraceful and must stop.
“We need to work together to tackle all forms of hate crime and make sure victims have the confidence to report any incidents of hate crime to the police.
Stuart Thompson, Mencap regional campaigns officer for the east region said: “Hate crime continues to be a huge problem for people with a learning disability across the UK.
“Suffolk Hate Crime Service and Suffolk Police always demonstrate a great commitment in tackling this problem and show excellent examples of good practice.”
Orwell Mencap Genesis supported by Suffolk Hate Crime Service invite new Police Officer recruits to spend a day engaging with their customers and staff during their diversity training.
Nino Serritiello, Orwell Mencap Genesis, said: “We believe this is the best way to raise awareness of the issues for people with disabilities amongst the Police and the community.
“We are proud to be part of an initiative which clearly helps people understand more about hate crime and how to stop it. “
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (October 24) Echo.