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This discussion asks what a 'disability hate crime' is? Is it real? Where has it come from? Where is it going?
'Disability hate crime’ is NOT A SEPARATE CRIMINAL OFFENCE: it is covered under SECTION 146 of the 2003 CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT. This allows for extended sentencing if a crime is proven to be motivated by hostility to disability. This came into practise on the 4th April 2005.
A disability hate crime can be ANY CRIME; from burglary to murder. It has to be PROVED that it was motivated by HOSTILITY to disability. This is not the same as a crime being committed opportunistically because someone is disabled.
When someone believes that they have been TARGETED by someone because of hostility to their disability they then have to TELL THIS TO THE POLICE; or a third party, if a third party is reporting the crime for them.
During court proceedings the Crime Prosecution Service will then offer the disabled party the option of using an INTERMEDIARY to help them tell the court details about the crime. This intermediary is a qualified person will speak for them during the court process if they feel intimidated.
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