News: National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2019

National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2019 takes place from 12th – 19th October 2019. Disability Equality Scotland works with various organisations to help promote awareness of hate crime and how to report it.

A disability hate crime is:

“Any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person’s disability or perceived disability.”

Disability hate incidents can take many forms including:

• verbal and physical abuse
• teasing
• bullying
• threatening behaviour
• online abuse
• threatening or insulting texts
• damage to property

Disability Safety Hub – www.disabilitysafety.scot

Last year, Disability Equality Scotland launched the Disability Safety Hub, a website aimed at disabled people to help them to identify hate crime. This website highlights the different ways that disabled people can report a hate crime. The website contains videos, case studies and useful numbers and contacts to help disabled people find the information they need.

Public Transport Hate Crime Charter

All people using public transport networks have the right to be free from hate crime, prejudice, bullying or harassment. This has been recognised as a key outcome in Transport Scotland’s 10-year plan – the Accessible Travel Framework.

Disability Equality Scotland lead a Working Group to take forward the Hate Crime Charter project. The aim of the project is to create a recognised system to encourage transport providers, members of the public and other services to support a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime on public transport.

What did we do?

Disability Equality Scotland held three consultation events with representatives from equalities groups and transport providers. We heard emotive stories from people who had experienced hate crime on public transport and how this made them feel. We gathered feedback on what a Hate Crime Charter should look like and suggestions for how to make it accessible.

Piloting the Charter

Following these public consultation events, the Working Group took the learning from discussions and drafted a Hate Crime Charter. The Charter is now ready to be piloted and five key transport providers have been identified to take this work forward: ScotRail, Stagecoach, Lothian Buses, First Bus and Edinburgh Airport.

The providers will display the Charter on their service for around eight weeks. During this time, incidents of hate crime will be monitored and reported to Police Scotland as usual. This data will help to give a snapshot of incidents during this time. Following the eight-week pilot, a second survey will take place to see if awareness and understanding of hate crime has changed.

This data will help to influence the roll out of the Charter on a national scale.

The pilot will be ongoing between October and December 2019.

We will use our Accessible Travel Hub website (www.accessibletravel.scot) to help promote the Charter. The outcome is that by 2021, we will implement a national Hate Crime Charter, to enable all citizens to travel, free from bullying and harassment on all modes of transport.

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