Disability hate crime has risen over the last year in Northern Ireland, according to new research obtained by Leonard Cheshire and United Response.
The two charities found 102 disability hate crimes were reported in 2022/23, a 10% increase from 93 in the previous year.
In 2022/23, disability hate crime reports in Northern Ireland rose by 10% on last year’s figure.
More than 80% of disability hate crimes in Northern Ireland in that time involved violence.
In 2022/23, 13.7% of disability hate crimes in Northern Ireland resulted in a charge or summons to court – a rate the significantly higher than the UK figure.
Across the UK, the Leonard Cheshire and United Response research found that 11,434 disability hate crimes were reported between April 2022 and March 2023.
The data showed roughly half of UK disability hate crime reports involved violence, and over 1,300 took place online.
The Government has announced it will not publish a new Hate Crime Strategy that was promised in 2021.
The two charities are calling on the Government to reverse its decision to merge an anti-hate crime strategy into a wider plan to tackle general crime.
The charities say the Government must instead focus on developing and publishing a 'bespoke hate crime strategy, in close consultation with stakeholders and their families.'
Leonard Cheshire and United Response commented on the findings: “We need to narrow the justice gap between the number of disability hate crimes recorded and the number of offences resulting in a conviction.
"There are real people behind these numbers and once a person has been a target of hate, they can be utterly changed.
“We are asking the UK government to rethink the plan not to publish a hate crime strategy.
"If they want to set targets for police responses to crime then disability hate crime should be a key focus, not brushed aside.
“Our research shows people want to help in a safe way. We need everyone to be allies in the fight against disability hate crime.”
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