Tuesday 24 May 2011

Cuts and hate crime

The IPCC report into Leicestershire police's failing to tackle the disablist hate that resulted in Fiona Pilkington killing herself and her daughter Francecca Hardwick is to be released today.

Several news sources have written about this. The Guardian have this quote from Professor Alan Roulstone from Northumbria University:

"There's a whole series of problems stacking up. There will be other Pilkingtons, sadly."

Roulstone then goes on to explain:

"With the current cuts, hate crime is slipping down the agenda. It wouldn't be right to name police forces, but certainly more than one force has said to me they don't have the money for training updates. Police officers understanding disability is a challenge, and very few forces manage to roll out training which makes sense to officers at the ground level."

This article, along with all the others I've seen, acknowledge that police cuts will result in disablist hate crime not being handled appropriately, but what the articles don't mention is that the benefit cuts and surrounding rhetoric are fuelling an increase in disablist harassment.

Our own incurable hippie wrote about being followed down the street by a man shouting "fucking DLA stick" at her. Then this blogger wrote about being called a "scrounging cunt" in the street.

When it comes to hate the cuts are hitting us from every side. They're making us more likely to be subjected to harassment and it less likely for the authorities to take that persecution seriously. As for the subject of suicide, just have a flick through WtB and you'll see a significant percentage of posts have comments following them in which readers express their intention to kill themselves when they lose their benefits.


  1. Presumably you've seen/heard this?

    Just in case you haven't...


  2. >> hate crime is slipping down the agenda <<

    Great, another area where we're going backwards!

  3. And hate crime is like social care - it's not like it was being handled adequately BEFORE the cuts.

  4. Thanks, Lisa, this is a very important post!
    The subject is one which ought to be pursued and the blame ought to be laid at the door of parliament.
    It's right and fair that politicians OWN the responsibility.
    It's not party political; the responsibility belongs to the whole of parliament, to all political parties.

    It's fair and pertinent to ask politicians what immediate action they are prepared to take.
    And to ask them what safeguards they should build into the political system to ensure there aren't repeats in the future (I'm thinking here of the calibre of public statements and press releases).
    I'm thinking also that there is more chance of politicians changing their tune than there is of tabloid dailies changing their tune.

    Apology would be nice, but acknowledgement of the problem would be sufficient - followed by redemptive action, the sooner the better.