Kevin Hurley, PCC for Surrey, has taken Mencap’s ‘PCC pledge’ and committed to ending disability hate crime.
In 2011 Mencap launched the ‘Stand by me’ campaign to end disability hate crime in a generation, and their calls on newly-elected PCCs to take the PCC pledge follows their work getting police services to sign up to a police promise that will help make sure people with a learning disability can live their lives free from the fear of hate crime.
Surrey Police has already signed up to the ‘Stand by me’ police promise and now their PCC has committed to continuing the good work started by their force in tackling disability hate crime.
Kevin Hurley, Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, said: “Everyone has the right to feel safe in their communities – able to go about their lives and reach their potential without fear of crime or antisocial behaviour.
“I know the public of Surrey will be as disturbed as I was to hear that as many as 9 out of 10 people with a learning disability have been subjected to hate crime. It is absolutely unacceptable that vulnerable people are living in fear in our county because of abuse and bullying. We must do something about it.
“My mission as Police and Crime Commissioner is to improve the public’s sense of safety in Surrey by taking a zero-tolerance approach to crime and antisocial behaviour. I pledge to work with Surrey Police and the whole criminal justice system to do whatever I can to put a stop to hate crime in our county – by giving a professional and sensitive service to victims, and by bringing the full weight of the law down on the cowards, bullies and thugs who commit such contemptible offences.”
Rossanna Trudgian, Mencap’s head of campaigns and activism, said: “As many as 9 out of 10 people with a learning disability have experienced hate crime. This is disgraceful and must stop. Many police services are doing good work, and their response is getting better, but there is still a long way to go. That is why Mencap is calling on new Police and Crime Commissioners to commit to standing by people with a learning disability to end hate crime. We are delighted that Kevin Hurley has taken the PCC pledge and will be working with us to help end disability hate crime in a generation.”
For more information on the ‘Stand by me’ campaign, and to show your support, visit www.mencap.org.uk/standbyme.
About Stand by me
Any crime where the victim or any other person, feels they are being targeted because of their disability is a disability hate crime. Research shows that these crimes have a far bigger impact than other crimes and often leave victims afraid to engage in everyday activity.
‘Stand by me’ aims to engage the police, the criminal justice system and the courts to end hate crime against people with a learning disability within a generation. For more information or to sign up to the campaign, go to
Mencap supports the 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK and their families and carers. Mencap fights to change laws, improve services and increase access to education, employment and leisure facilities, supporting thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they choose.
We are also the largest service provider of services, information and advice for people with a learning disability across England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
See www.mencap.org.uk for more information.
About learning disability
A learning disability is caused by the way the brain develops before, during or shortly after birth. It is always lifelong and affects someone’s intellectual and social development. It used to be called mental handicap but this term is outdated and offensive. Learning disability is not a mental illness.