True picture of hate crime is much bigger: Disability charity chief

ATTITUDES: Melanie Close.
ATTITUDES: Melanie Close.
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In the last few years some of the cases Disability Equality North West has been involved with include people with epilepsy being robbed as they had a fit in the road and robberies where people have been tipped out of their wheel chairs.

Chief executive of the charity Melanie Close said: “We are just about to start a Big Lottery Funded project – there was a lot of evidence in that application to show the true picture in Lancashire.”

She said the increase is to do with reporting improve but said: “I do hope this figure increases. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

“It’s social attitudes, some people think it is okay to call disabled people names and have a go at them.

“Very often that is linked to what they read in the press, in the national newspapers about how much is spent on disabled benefits and that disabled people are wrongly claiming benefits.

“The knock on effect is this reinforces those stereotypes.