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New figures reveal rise in hate crime against disabled people

Campaigners spent the day speaking to the public about the issue of hate crime. Photo: ITV West Country

New Home Office figures have revealed a rise in the number of cases of hate crime with offences against disabled people amongst the biggest increases.

Some attackers are choosing public transport to carry out their abuse and today campaigners fighting the abuse chose Bristol bus station to try to educate the public on a growing problem.

Home office figures show there has been a rise in hate crime case numbers. Credit: ITV West Country

Timothy Rogers has struggled with learning disabilities all his life.

For over a year he struggled with teenagers who thought that was reason enough to abuse him.

The 38-year-old took alternative bus routes to try to avoid his tormentors who, he says, left him feeling scared to leave his home and unsure where to turn.

I reported it so many times to the school. The school didn't do anything about it. The driver on the bus when I reported the problem just said sit down.

– Timothy Rogers

But others want Timothy and other victims to stand up against disability and all hate crime.

George Carpenter is a bus driver who says he sees discrimination on a regular basis.

You're guaranteed to see it every day. You're guaranteed that. And there's no consideration for pushchairs wheelchairs or anything like that. I think a lot of it is lack of respect.

– George Carpenter
Bus companies say they are well equipped to protect their vulnerable passengers. Credit: ITV West Country

On-board posters remind passengers of their behaviour while CCTV cameras look to provide proof for prosecutions.

Bus companies say they have never been better equipped to protect their vulnerable passengers.

Mr Rogers says despite changes from the bus companies it is still down to everyone to get rid of hate crime.

People in this generation need to step up and think before you target somebody.

– Timothy Rogers

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