Getting away with murder: disabled people's experiences of hate crime in the UK

QUARMBY Katharine
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Section 143 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 allows for sentences to be increased for disablist hate crimes. The law specifically refers to hostility based on 'the disability or perceived disability of the victim' and offences motivated by hostility towards persons who have a disability. However, although disablist crime is recognised by the law, this does not seem to be reflected in people's attitudes and such crimes attract little public outcry. There is a deep lack of awareness about disablist crime, similar to the public's ignorance of racist hate crimes prior to the Stephen Lawrence case. This was not taken seriously in its early stages - but it eventually became a watershed case, which resonated widely with the public and led to stiffer sentencing for racist crime Disablist crimes should be treated with the same seriousness by the public as murders motivated by racism or homophobia.

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crime victims, criminal justice, disabilities, discrimination, hate crime;
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