A new criminal charge for disability hate crime is due to be introduced by Labour as a response to the increased concern that victims who are being targeted are repeatedly being let down. The shadow secretary for work and pensions is set to announce the proposed policy at the annual Labour conference.
Liam Byrne is also due to announce his plan to part company with Atos the company which determines people’s ability to take part in work due to their appalling performance and surrounding controversy. Figures have shown that in every 5 decisions made by the company 2 of those are appealed with the success rate of the appeals being 42%. The company has further added to their failures by not meeting their targets on the average case clearance duration.
According to Home Office estimations 65,000 disability hate crime offences take place yearly. Charities who represent the disabled community say that that figure could in fact be closer to their estimate of 100,000 which they believe is largely due to benefit scroungers. The problem is further complicated according to Mr Byrne due to a system that has failed to work accordingly.
The Labour shadow minister is expected to say to members of his party that he will fight to change the status quo. Aiding with Mr Byrne’s plans is Jenny Macklin the Australian MP who has successfully made changes in her homeland in regards to the provision of services to the disabled. In his speech he says that today’s society and system constrains disabled people from having a home, a job and care with this urgently needing to change. His pledge in front of his party is that he will push to change the law on disability hate crime and put it on the same stance as all other hate crime.
This year the Crown Prosecution Service along with the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and the National Probation Service all reported that the current criminal system in England and Wales is letting victims of disability hate crime down.