No police action after 46 reported hate crimes against the disabled in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire

Not a single one of the 46 reported hate crimes against disabled people in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire in 2018/19 led to a charge or community resolution.

Sunday, 20th October 2019, 7:00 am
Police news

The figures include 26 incidents with an element of violence.

In 2017/18 there had been 51 reported hate crimes, of which 19 were violent. Of those 51 reported incidents, nine led to a charge or community resolution.

Responding to the figures, which were revealed by a Freedom of Information request from disability charity Leonard Cheshire, a Cambridgeshire police spokeswoman said tackling hate crime is a “priority” and that a new team to get “victim focused outcomes” - such as avoiding exposure to the court process - is being created.

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She added: “Many of our victims of hate crime may not wish to be exposed to a court case, which can make traditional measures of success, through detections, an inappropriate outcome for the victim and does not tackle the root cause of the offending behaviour.”

Meanwhile, figures have revealed that between April and June only 70 per cent of disabled children in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire (98 out of 140) received wheelchairs within four months, below the 92 per cent target for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). Rob Burley, from charity Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: “Wheelchairs are not a luxury and having access to suitable equipment is vital.”

A Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG spokesperson said “Following a procurement process in 2018, AJM Healthcare were awarded the contract to provide wheelchair services from April 1, 2019.

“During their mobilisation the new service provider identified a backlog of patients which was escalated immediately. The CCG have been working alongside AJM and NHS England to address the backlog as a matter of urgency and to nsure we provide high quality wheelchair services for our patients as per the national NHS England Wheelchair Guidance.”

A spokeswoman for NHS England said: “While around 85 per cent of children and adults (nationally) are getting a wheelchair within the 18 week target, some people may have complex conditions and may wait longer for specialist equipment.”