Today, Wednesday 18 November, marks the start of UK Disability History Month and Knowsley Council is using this as an opportunity to remind residents in the borough with visible or invisible disabilities that if they experience hate crime they are not alone and are encouraged to report it.
UK Disability History Month (UKDHM) is an annual event creating a platform to focus on the history of Disabled People’s journey towards equality and human rights. In its 11th year UKDHM are focusing on the theme of Access and asking the questions ‘How far have we come? How far have we to go?’. Throughout the month people can find a wide range of resources available on the UKDHM website that offers the chance to understand more about the history of the struggles of disabled people and the positive changes that can be made to minimise barriers.
Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Communities, Cllr Shelley Powell, said:
“UK Disability History Month provides us with a moment to reflect on the experiences of our residents with disabilities. I hope that people participate in the month and discover more.
“The month also provides us with an opportunity to support our disabled residents and let them know if they are ever the victim of hate crime they are not alone. We urge them to report any incident of hate crime – no matter how small it may seem , it is not insignificant and together we can tackle it.”
Although hate crime only accounts for 2% of crime in Knowsley (2018/19) it is acknowledged to be nationally underreported. Knowsley Council says ‘No More’ to hate crime with a campaign that addresses global issues of inequality and discrimination, using its power as a local authority to make positive change in Knowsley for its residents. You can read more about the campaign here.
WHAT IS HATE CRIME?
Hate Crime is defined as an act where the victim or anyone else thinks it was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on one of the following things: Disability, Sex, Age, Race, Religion, Transgender identity, Sexual orientation.
HOW CAN I REPORT HATE CRIME?
If it feels like the situation could get heated or violent very soon or if someone in immediate danger call 999 straight away.
You can report hate crime online or call 101. If you’d prefer to speak to a police officer in person visit a police station, Merseyside Police can provide a safe and comfortable environment at any of our police stations.
Alternatively, if you don’t feel comfortable reporting it to the police you can report it to Stop Hate UK 0800 138 1625.
Reports can also be made, and safety can be found at Merseyside Fire and Rescue stations across Knowsley and Merseyside. Providing there are fire officers on site, you can report any incident of hate crime here. If the fire station is closed and you need immediate assistance all fire stations have yellow phone boxes outside the building that will connect you to the emergency response control room.