Starting to Stop It - A Disability Hate Crime Progress Report 2020

12th October 2020


You can download the full progress report here -  Merton CIL 'Starting to Stop It' Disability Hate Crime Progress Report Oct 20


Our new report ‘Starting to Stop It’ reviews recommendations and what has been done in the borough over the past 4 years since Merton CIL published the report Making It Stop – Tackling Hate Crime Against Disabled People in Merton in 2016. It was a call to action for us and for our partners in maintaining and improving the safety and wellbeing of Deaf and Disabled people in the borough including the Council, the Metropolitan Police Service, and social housing providers. [1]


The report was funded by Merton Council and was launched in December 2016 with an endorsement from the chair of the of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Commission, Peter Southgate. [2] It was produced by Merton CIL and Stay Safe East, a user led organisation which focuses on issues around hate crime and domestic and sexual abuse against Deaf and Disabled people, in collaboration with a range of organisations in the borough.


Michael Turner, Policy and Strategy Manager of Merton CIL said “There’s been significant progress in the borough and our new report takes stock of this and where we need to go from here.’


The original report found that 500 Disabled people a year experience hate crime in Merton alone, with only about 10 people, 2%, making a report to the police. It also found that it was difficult for victims and survivors to report hate crime because they felt they wouldn’t be believed, they felt nothing would be done, or they didn’t recognise it as a hate crime themselves. In addition, there were some practical barriers to reporting, like a lack of information online and problems accessing police stations.

The original report made a range of recommendations for ourselves at Merton CIL and for our partners in the Council, the Metropolitan Police Service and in the social housing sector. The new report shows there is now a far bigger range of support for Deaf and Disabled people experiencing disability hate crime and other hate crime in Merton and there is now a concerted effort to raise awareness of the issue.


Michael Turner concludes: ‘These are good signs of progress, but we’ve only really scratched the surface of a huge issue and we still have a long way to go. We need to keep up the momentum we’ve built up in the last 4 years and with the commitment of partners in the Council, the voluntary sector, the police and social housing we will be able to say we are starting to stop it.’


[1] Whenever we refer to Disabled people in the rest of this report, we are referring to Deaf and Disabled people, with Disabled people including people with all types of impairment including people with physical and sensory impairments, mental health service users and people with learning difficulties.