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  1. ITV Report

Disability hate crime convictions fall despite sharp increase in reports

Credit: PA Images

Fewer people are being charged or prosecuted for disability hate crimes across Wales and England despite continued rises in reports, according to police figures obtained by the charity United Response.

The total number of disability hate crime incidents reported to the police has risen by 54% across Wales and England since 2016-17, during which time charges and prosecutions have fallen by more than a fifth (21%).

Reports to the Gwent force more than doubled in two years, from 49 in 2016/17 to 116 in 2018/19.

In North Wales, reports of disability hate crime incidents increased from 54 to 92. The percentage of reports that led to charges or prosecutions there fell to 7%.

The rate of charge and conviction was not available for other police force areas in Wales.

Reports to the Dyfed Powys force also increased from 21 in 2016/17 to 38 in 2018/19.

South Wales Police did not provide statistics for their area for the charity's research.

137%
increase in reports to Gwent Police of hate crime against an individual since 2016/17
70%
increase in reports to North Wales Police of hate crime against an individual since 2016/17
7%
of reports of hate crime resulted in charges/prosecutions in 2018/19

Just as last year, these figures are deeply worrying. The hard facts are that more and more people with learning disabilities or autism are being subjected to criminal harm and seemingly a smaller proportion of those responsible are being given the punishment they deserve.

It is critical that these criminals are brought to justice in the right way but also educated on the hugely damaging impact their mindless and cowardly acts have on vulnerable people.

– United Response Director of Quality & Practice Sarah Battershall

United Response's research, published ahead of next week's National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2019, also claims an average of more than 17 disability hate crimes were committed every day last year across England and Wales, nearly nine of which were 'violence against the person'