Posted 23.05.2022

Press release below from the Causeway Coast and Glens BC website

Causeway Coast and Glens Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) partnered with Disability Action to host local focus groups as part of its latest consultation which aims to establish what makes disabled people feel safe and unsafe in the Causeway Coast and Glens area.

Feedback from the consultation (which closed on 19 May) will allow the PCSP to better understand the needs of those with disabilities and identify ways to help them feel safe in their homes and the wider community.

One of the recent focus groups, held in Roe Valley Arts and Culture Centre in Limavady, concluded with a hate crime awareness talk facilitated by Leonard Cheshire, a disability hate crime advocacy organisation.

PCSP Manager Jonny Donaghy said:

“The PCSP wants everyone in our community to feel safe especially those who are most vulnerable. We would encourage everyone with a disability to take part in this important consultation exercise. If you support or care for someone with a disability, we also wish to hear from you.

“Hate crime can be widely misunderstood but it can have a huge impact on the lives of victims. We hope that this session helps increase awareness of hate crime, encourages reporting and that it has helped people with disabilities to know that support is available”

Speaking at the event, Leonard Cheshire’s Hate Crime advocate Gabrielle Fitzpatrick said:

“Crime – any crime – is a tragedy, and even more so when you are targeted for ‘who you are’. Disabled people often experience abuse in many forms and believe they have to put up with it, but they don’t.

The Disability Hate Crime Advocate will provide support and advice for any victim who wishes to report disability hate crime and take action to prevent it in the future.”

If you are affected by disability hate crime and need assistance please get in touch with [email protected]disabilityaction.org.

Pictured above (l-r): Gabrielle Fitzpatrick, Leonard Cheshire; Orlaith Quinn and Michael McCafferty, PCSP Officers; Ashleen Schenning, PCSP member; and Heather Logan, Disability Action.