A new disability hate crime campaign is being launched today across Shropshire and Telford.
'We're All Human' is the message behind the new initiative which aims to raise awareness of disability hate crime.
Between April 2012 and January 2013, there were 53 offences and 21 incidents of hate crime reported to police - an increase of 76% on the same period the previous year. Offences include assaults, criminal damage and theft while incidents are reports that don't have an associated specific criminal offence.
Shropshire Paralympic gold medalist, Mickey Bushell, who was recently awarded an MBE for his services to disabled sport, has given his full support to the campaign, which he believes will let those affected "realise they're not alone".
The leader of the campaign, Sergeant Ed Hancox, said the increase in the number of offences and incidents reported was in fact a positive sign that more victims were coming forward.
'We're All Human' posters will appear on Arriva buses on different routes across the county from today.
– sergeant ed hancox
In addition to the poster campaign to raise awareness and encourage reporting, Arriva bus drivers are also being trained by West Mercia Police diversity officers on recognising when such crimes are taking place and how to deal with them.