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Brent MP Sarah Teather supports campaign to tackle disability hate crime

July 16, 2012 3:03 PM

Local MP Sarah Teather has met with representatives from Brent Mencap to learn more about the 'Stand by me' campaign. The campaign aims to stop hate crime against people with a learning disability.

Nine out of 10 people with a learning disability have experienced bullying or been a victim of a disability hate crime. As part of the 'Stand by me' campaign, disability campaigners are working with judges, the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and local authorities to ensure that the way disability hate crime is recorded, investigated, charged and sentenced, inspires confidence in the system.

Since the campaign was launched in 2011, Brent Mencap has been working with the local police force to raise awareness of the bullying and crime experienced by people with learning disabilities and to help front line officers respond more effectively to disability hate crime.

Last year, the Coalition Government changed the law so that murders motivated by hatred towards disability carry a sentence of at least 30 years. This change ended the anomaly in sentencing that meant disability hate crime murders were punished with shorter prison sentence than murders aggravated by race, religion or sexual orientation.

Commenting, Sarah Teather, Lib Dem MP for Brent Central, said,

"I was very interested to learn more about the work that Brent Mencap are doing as part of the 'Stand by me' campaign. It's vitally important that the police and the courts treat hate crimes with the seriousness they deserve.

"Hate crime can have a serious and long-lasting impact on how people live their lives. People with a learning disability should never have to live in fear of bullying or hate crime.

"I was pleased to hear of the important work Brent Mencap are doing with local police officers and I have contacted Government Ministers to urge them to make sure that as many police forces as possible sign up in support of the campaign."