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Tackling hate crime and supporting people to report it

It is estimated that less than 13% of disability hate crimes are currently reported. On 26 February, our hate crime specialists hosted a training event in central Bristol to raise awareness of how hate crimes should be reported, who should report them and when they should be reported. The event welcomed over 50 professionals including support workers and police.

The Bristol Hate Crime and Discrimination Service is a collaboration of six charitable organisations, including Brandon. Together, the organisations offer a wealth of knowledge and experience on hate crimes, including racial, religious, LGBTQ+, and disability hate crimes.

Supt Andy Bennett, force lead for hate crime, explained that disability hate crime was a serious focus for the group. Currently disability hate crime is significantly under-reported, with mate crime and 'cuckooing' both areas of concern. Victims worry that they will have to face the criminal in court, or they may believe that the criminal is their friend. He went on to explain that new initiatives by Avon and Somerset Police are now underway to tackle under-reporting.

One attendee at the course said: "I have definitely increased awareness of what to do if I witness a hate crime. The speakers were knowledgeable, didn’t use a lot of jargon, used plenty of examples and encouraged interaction from the audience."

The event included lots of live performances from Brandon. One audience member commented: "Excellent sketches, very informative workshop", whilst another explained: "Performances were good and made situations more understandable."

If you work with people with a learning disability and are interested in our hate crime training, please contact sarah.howard@brandontrust.org. Our accessible training sessions are led by an experienced trainer, and include drama performances by our assistant trainers, who all have a learning disability, to bring situations to life.

For advice, further information, or to make a referral, visit the Bristol Hate Crime and Discrimination Services website, or call free on 0800 171 2272.