Disability Hate Crime Above National Average in Bristol

Hate Crime Bristol – Disability Higher Than National Average:

Hate crime is an issue that is increasing across the country, but Bristol features higher statistics than the national average for some of its crimes.

The Crime Survey of England and Wales, recorded 94,098 new Hate Crimes last year, an increase of 123 per cent since 2012.

According to Avon and Somerset Constabulary, there were 3508 hate crimes in their jurisdiction last year, with 1782 occurring in Bristol.

Bristol Hate Crime & Discrimination Services (BHC&DS) took 509 referrals, opening 318 new cases in the city.

BHC&DS is a partnership of six organisations who work together to provide support and a service for those affected by hate crime in Bristol.  It is led by SARI (Stand Against Racism & Inequality) and includes Bristol Mind, Brandon Trust, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender) Bristol, Bristol Law Centre, and Resolve West (formerly Bristol Mediation).

In 2018, BHC&DS recorded the percentage of hate crimes as 69 per cent race hate, 18 per cent cent disability hate, 7 per cent as LGBT hate, 4 per cent as faith-based hate and 2 per cent as gender-based hate.

The disability hate national average is only 8 per cent whilst LGBT nationally is 12 per cent, showing Bristol to be more tolerant to those from an LGBT background than those with disabilities.

A 242 disabilities were counted amongst all the reports, with 39 per cent being mental health related, 29 per cent long term illness, 12 per cent physical impairment, 10 per cent learning disability, 4 per cent targeting the deaf community and 2 per cent against the autistic community.

When it comes to race hate crimes, the most targeted ethnic groups in Bristol are Black African and Caribbean, totalling 106 out of 732 individuals. Those with a Somali and Caribbean background were the most targeted. Those from a Pakistani background made up 27 cases, Eastern European 23 and Mixed Heritage 51.

Of the faith based Hate Crimes, 38 per cent were Muslim clients and 35 per cent Christian, with 3 anti Semitic cases.

Of all the incidents, 79 per cent took place at home, 12 per cent in schools, 10 per cent on the street, 6 per cent at work, 3 per cent around shops and 2 per cent on public transport.

Lawrence Hill was the most targeted area of Bristol, making up 41 cases, Hartcliffe and Withywood 32, Central Bristol 28 and Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston 25.

In a breakdown of housing, 147 out of the 318 new cases featured Bristol City Council tenants, 67 housing association tenants, 46 in privately rented housing, 13 of no fixed abode and 2 on traveller sites.

The cases featured 58 assaults, 2 of which were GBH, 50 attacks on property, 25 car vandalisms, 101 threatening behaviours, 151 verbal abuse instances, 10 written abuses instances, 9 theft/robberies and 12 cases of Mate Crime. Mate Crime occurs when vulnerable people are ‘befriended’ for the purpose of taking advantage of them.

The statistics are in the Safer Bristol Partnership Report 2018/19, which forms papers to Bristol City Council’s Communities Scrutiny Commission (previously Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Commission) on Wednesday 24 July 2019.

It has attributed a rise in hate crime in part to ‘increased awareness and reporting’. But, it also states that BREXIT, terrorists attacks, austerity and the ‘increase’ in Far-Right politics are contributing to a ‘climate of increased hostility and division’. The racist rhetoric of ‘Go back to where you come from’ is behind this.

The Strategic Partnership Against Hate Crime (SPAHC)  which monitors Bristol’s Hate Crime Action Plan, has ‘priority areas’ mirroring the National Hate Crime Action Plan.

The National plan acknowledges that there is an ‘underreporting’ of disability hate crime. It says ‘we will work with community groups to raise awareness of disability hate crime, and are considering the best options for third party reporting centres for disabled people. We will work with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, and others, to understand where these services already exist, and how best we can promote their availability. Work is underway to develop resources for carers and families of disabled people to help them report hate crimes.’

Bristol City Council recommends reporting hate crime directly to the police. This should be done via 999 if the crime is happening there and then, or someone is in immediate danger. If it’s not an emergency then call 101. Alternative methods of reporting are via an online crime form on the Avon and Somerset police website  or buy visiting a local police station.

The council considers hate crimes to include:

A physical attack, like hitting you
Threatening behaviour such as verbal abuse or rude gestures
Damage to property such as vandalism, graffiti or arson
Offensive letters or text messages
Offensive leaflets or posters
Getting others to carry out hate crimes

For more information about reporting hate crimes as well as organisations that can help, visit: https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/advice/threats,-assault-and-hate-crime/hate-crime/hate-crime-help-and-support/

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