New card to help fight hate crime lauched by Warwickshire authorties

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A CARD which will make it easier for people with learning disabilities to report hate crime has been launched in Warwickshire.

Warwickshire County Council, Warwickshire Police and the Learning Disability Partnership Board, have produced the ‘I want to report a hate crime’ card to tackle crime motivated by hate, prejudice and hostility against a person with a disability.

The county council recently surveyed more than 70 people with a learning disability and found that over 50% had been a victim of hate crime at some point during their lives. More than 90% of people said that they knew who to report a hate crime to and a third of people said that a reporting card would make it easier for people with a learning disability to report a hate crime.

Janine Wheatley, who has a learning disability is Co-Chair of Warwickshire’s Learning Disability Partnership Board. She said: “It’s important that all people who are vulnerable, know about hate crime. Lots of people with learning disabilities suffer and that is wrong.”

The hate crime card has been designed to take into account an individual’s communications needs, so that just by showing the card, it is visually clear that someone is asking for help. Its small credit card size fits into a wallet and contains telephone numbers of who to contact if they have been subject to a hate crime.

The card will be distributed to 2,000 people including people with a learning disability and their carers. The council is also working with New Ideas Advocacy and together they have been visiting customer groups and holding sessions to raise awareness of disability hate crime.

Chris Lewington, Strategic Commissioner for Learning Disabilities at Warwickshire County Council, said: “Too often people are targeted because of their vulnerability and we all need to send a clear message that hate crime has to stop. This card will not only help people know where to seek help but will enable us to act upon it when it happens.”

George Stepney, Community Protection Manager at Warwickshire Police, said: “Warwickshire Police takes Hate Crime very seriously and work hard with partners to get the very best outcomes for victims quickly - reporting concerns to the police on this special number will get you in touch with the people who can help, whether you are a victim, witness, relative or a concerned friend.”

To get an ‘I want to report hate crime card’ or to find out more please contact the Warwickshire Learning Disability Partnership Board Office on 01926 742414.

Warwickshire Police would encourage anyone in the community to call their hate crime helpline 0845 129 2221 if they have concerns about being a victim, or have witnessed a hate crime taking place.