News

Jane Kennedy takes Mencap pledge to tackle hate crime

Merseyside / December 05

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has taken Mencap’s 'PCC pledge' and committed to ending learning disability hate crime.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has taken Mencap’s 'PCC pledge' and committed to ending learning disability hate crime.

In 2011, Mencap launched the 'Stand by me' campaign to end disability hate crime in a generation and they have since called on Police Commissioners around the country to take the ‘PCC pledge’.

The campaign follows Mencap’s work to get police forces to sign up to a promise to make sure people with a learning disability can live their lives free from the fear of hate crime. The 10-point pledge was designed to help people with learning disabilities to report hate crimes and included providing information in an easy to read format, keeping victims up to date and designating more time for interviewing victims.  All 43 national police forces signed up to the pledge, including Merseyside.

Jane Kennedy said: “I am delighted to join Merseyside Police in supporting Mencap’s work and make my pledge to their ‘Stand by me’ campaign.

“One of the priorities I set in my Police and Crime Plan was to take effective action against all forms of hate crime. I am committed to tackling crimes that are motivated by prejudice and intolerance and I will ensure that Merseyside Police continue to provide a robust response to hate crime in all forms.

Mencap’s head of campaigns and activism Rossanna Trudgian said: “As many as 9 out of 10 people with a learning disability have experienced hate crime. This is disgraceful and must stop. Many police services are doing good work, and their response is getting better, but there is still a long way to go.

“That is why Mencap is calling on Police and Crime Commissioners to commit to standing by people with a learning disability to end hate crime. We are delighted that Jane Kennedy has taken the PCC pledge and will be working with us to help end disability hate crime in a generation.”

During the visit, the Commissioner met Mencap Liverpool members Jamie Meyrick and Paul Staples who took the opportunity to brief her on Mencap’s Safe Havens. They have been working with volunteer manager Lois Nash to develop a short training package which involves giving shops and businesses advice on how to provide a temporary place of safety to anyone in distress or those who feel vulnerable. Mencap Liverpool are already working with Merseyside Police and Liverpool’s Community Safety Partnership to tackle hate crime.

Since taking office, the Commissioner has dedicated much time to meeting and working with organisations that tackle hate crime and work with victims. In August, she signed the St Helens No Place for Hate pledge and she has also supported Stop Hate UK.

The Commissioner has also recruited a Community Engagement officer, Mike Berry, who is dedicated to addressing issues relating to disability hate crime. Mike can be contacted via email or on (0151) 777 5164

For more information on the 'Stand by me' campaign and to show your support, visit www.mencap.org.uk/standbyme