Vulnerable adults face many challenges as they work towards their life goals and become integrated into society.
Often the simple things we take for granted pose massive hurdles for them. Everyday events such as shopping, meeting friends for a coffee can be daunting. Yet, it’s these simple things that make them feel good about themselves.
ubu, through our pioneering uStep programme, helps vulnerable adults develop their own programme for life. Taking up their place in society by interacting with others on a daily basis is paramount, as is being able to go about their daily routine without fear of persecution.
They should be able to rely on the support of society and those entrusted with protecting us all to ensure they are not at risk of violence or humiliation. We must all support them.
Particularly the Police; ‘Protect and Serve’ is a common theme in police force mottoes. Protection isn’t a passive action.To protect you must have a policy, strategy, plan for implementation and call to action.
Protecting a vulnerable minority demands a specific strategy that is communicated clearly to everyone so that they fully understand the consequences if they ignore it.
Increasingly, vulnerable people are subject to ridicule from ignorant people, often operating in gangs who prey on an easy target. Such people realise that vulnerable people making a determined effort to be active members in society lack confidence and are sometimes physically weak. They choose their moments to attack when there are no witnesses or they can easily escape.
Cowards and bullies act like this. Recently a young man with learning difficulties was attacked in Bradford city centre as he crossed the road. Thankfully he was not alone; his carer was with him and was able to give the police a description of his attackers.
The police must be more proactive. Police forces run very effective hard hitting campaigns. Think of the drink driving one for example. No one does it anymore, because we know it is dangerous and attracts stiff penalties. Why is there no similar campaign to tackle the bullies and cowards who prey on vulnerable and disabled people?
A very clear strategy to stamp out violent crime against disabled and vulnerable adults with a strong message about the penalties, together with evidence of a plan being implemented, would quickly make such people realise it will not be tolerated.
Vulnerable people do not want to be treated differently. By targeting violent crime everyone would benefit. The cowards and the bullies would soon get the message it isn’t big and it isn’t clever.
It’s time the Police made their message loud and clear so everyone understood violence will not be tolerated.