Stand by me

Ending disability hate crime together.


Too often people with a learning disability become the victims of crime because of their disability. We are working with other organisations to help people understand more about hate crime and how to stop it.

Download our easy read guide on what to do if you are a victim of hate crime for practical help and information.

Mencap often receives reports from around the country of people who are verbally abused, physically attacked, raped and murdered. In fact, as many as 9 out of 10 people with a learning disability have been a victim of hate crime and bullying. They might be seen as easy targets or valued less because of their disability. With your help, Mencap wants to change this.

Disability hate crime is a serious offence, and if the courts recognise that a person was targeted because of their disability they can impose a heavier sentence.

However, in many cases police, courts, local councils and other organisations have failed to do enough to protect people who experience daily harassment and abuse.

Mencap believes that:
  • people with a learning disability should be free from the fear of hate crime

  • all parts of the criminal justice system, including the police and courts, should work with people with a learning disability to stop hate crime.

Campaign successes:

With your help we are already beginning to make a difference.

Read the blog from Simon Parkinson, Mencap's director of external relations, on the progress that has been made and where we go from here.

What you can do

There is still so much to achieve and, with your help, Mencap believes we can protect people with a learning disability and end disability hate crime in a generation.

Ask your local Police and Crime Commissioner to take the PCC pledge

In November 2012, new Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) were elected in England and Wales, and they will set police forces' priorities. Following on from the great work police forces have been doing in signing up to the police promise, we want PCCs to make sure the progress continues by taking the PCC pledge and standing by people with a learning disability to end hate crime. Please ask your PCC to take the pledge.

Ask your local police force to sign the Stand by me police promise

Many police services are doing good work to stop disability hate crime, but more can be done. We want all police services to show support for people with a learning disability who are victims of hate crime, by signing up to the 'Stand by me' promise. Please ask your local police force to sign up.

Find out more:

Read the blog from Mencap's Campaigns Assistants: What is hate crime?

We are also working with other organisations to help people understand more about hate crime and how to stop it. We are also working with the police and the courts to make sure real action is taken if people experience hate crime.

Mencap would also like to thank Katharine Quarmby of the Disability Hate Crime Network for her valuable work in supporting the Stand by me campaign.

Read our real life stories and watch our video to find out more.


Support the campaign

Thank you for all of your support during Learning Disability Week. It has made a great difference but there is still more you can do to support the Stand by me campaign.

Real life stories

Read our real life stories told by people who have been victims of learning disability hate crime.

Get support

If you have been a victim of hate crime yourself you may want to know where you can get help and support. The following organisations can help:

Other organisations working to end hate crime

Mencap works with and supports the work other organisations are doing to tackle disability hate crime. To find out more about the work they do, use the links below:

Hate crime research report: Don't stand by

14 police services across England took part in research into how police respond to disability hate crime.

How to Stand by Me

Sharing achievements in tackling disability hate crime.

Hate Crime Awareness Week

Mencap joined together with HOPE, Stop Hate UK, Equality and Human Rights Commission, Disability Hate Crime Network and Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) in support of Hate Crime Awareness Week on 12-19 October 2013.