Raising awareness of disability hate and mate crime

Posted: 10 October 2022

Sarah leads on disability hate crime, working in partnership with Bristol Hate Crime and Discrimination Services.

A person takes money from a 'friend'

In this article:

  • Mate crime
  • Using drama to engage people
  • Hate Crime Awareness Week
  • Improving reporting
  • Training sessions

Hello. I’m Sarah and I work on the disability hate crime project as part of a partnership called Bristol Hate Crime and Discrimination Services.

Mate crime

Disability hate crime cases are referred to me, and over the years I’ve done a lot of awareness raising about an aspect of disability hate crime, called mate crime.

Many people with learning disabilities are seen as easy targets for manipulation and often they feel that any mate can be better than no mate at all.

Using drama to engage people

Our project has developed training workshops using drama and we employ assistant trainers, Dan, Sam, and Jemma, all of whom have a learning disability or autism, to develop and run training sessions with disabled people and professionals.

Drama can be an effective, accessible, and fun way to engage people with a learning disability. We’ve also developed this work into a training video for people who don’t like group settings. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we also used the video for online training.

Hate Crime Awareness Week

As a team, we’ve been involved with a large group, planning National Hate Awareness Crime Week (8-15 October) and I thought I’d share what we’ve been doing.

Whizz-Kids, the UK’s leading charity for young wheelchair users, requested an online presentation for their staff. Avon and Somerset Police booked a live presentation for their staff, focusing on mate crime, and we also delivered another live presentation for Bristol Social Services. In addition, we will be part of a joint stall at the Mall, Cribbs Causeway, on Friday 14 October.

Improving reporting

Each year, our service sees an increase in reports of hate crime, yet despite this, a lot of hate crimes still remain unreported. We work closely with statutory and voluntary organisations to raise the profile, improve logging and reporting of disability hate crime, alongside working to get a good outcome for victims.

Sarah Howard
Project Leader

Training sessions

If you’d like a training session for your team or the people you support, or just need some advice, please get in touch with: sarah.howard@brandontrust.org

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