VULNERABLE adults and children are still being failed by society as the latest figures on disability hate crime reveal that successful prosecutions have fallen.
Despite the work of organisations like ubu to raise awareness of disability hate crimes and our efforts to integrate vulnerable adults and children into the hearts of their communities, they are still being let down by the very people they should be able to rely on for protection and support.
The situation is so desperate that vulnerable adults and children now lack confidence in the system and even the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has admitted it has failed them.
ubu through uStep works very hard to encourage the people we serve to strive for independence in society, yet it’s tough for those vulnerable people who have already suffered mental and sometimes physical cruelty to take that first tentative step, when they think they may be knocked back again.
Disability hate crime is odious. It is perpetrated by the ignorant and bullies on those who are weak but have a great deal of inner strength, as they prey on those less fortunate than themselves.
Society and vulnerable adults and children should be able to rely on the police and CPS to take up the baton in the event that they are victimized, to not only prosecute but push for harsh sentencing. There are two reasons for this. No crime should go unpunished, but there must be a very clear message sent out to others that such actions will not be tolerated.
What the authorities fail to realize by not investigating and prosecuting, is that the long term consequences of disability hate crime are incremental.
Victims suffer instantly, but they continue to suffer as their confidence is knocked, they take a step back, withdraw from the world around them and then have to start again to push themselves back out into the hearts of their communities.
Many people support them. We work with the people we serve to help them achieve their goals at every stage of their journey. Thankfully there are many enlightened people who recognize the contribution that vulnerable adults and children make to society, but a disability hate crime is a regressive step in so many ways.
The CPS has acknowledged it is failing vulnerable adults and children on the issue of hate crime and has promised to look at how it evaluates cases to take forward for prosecution, but more must be done.
The police must play their part. Prevention is better than cure and they must make it clear that such crimes will not be tolerated and perpetrators will incur the full force of the law.
If such a crime is committed they must investigate thoroughly every reported hate crime, reporting the facts fully to the CPS and pushing for prosecutions.
Once the CPS have got a successful conviction then the courts must step up to the plate and come down tough on the perpetrators. Tough sentences act as a deterrent. The courts must send out a very clear message that these crimes have no place in a modern, forward thinking open, fair society and that those who commit them will be punished.
We have done a lot to help make the people we serve feel more confident in society, now society has to play its part more effectively.
Follow our news on @ubusupport