Hate crime is not anti-social behaviour
My name is Richard Lawrence and I am a spokesperson and research assistant at Mencap and today I'm going to talk about my experience of hate crime.
Last year me and my fiancé were going to the day centre. All of a sudden a gang of school kids started throwing stones and being racist to my fiancé. They picked on us because of both our learning disabilities
I called the police on 999 and told them what happened. They turned up at my door and I explained what happened. The police spoke in jargon which me and my fiancé don't understand. The police treated it as anti social behaviour.
I felt like nothing was being done and there was nothing I could do. At the moment no one has got an arrest and I feel angry about what's gone on.
After we spoke to the police me and my fiancé went to my day centre and told them what happened. They gave me the contact details for a mediation centre. I phoned them and a woman named Elean helped me. She understood about learning disability and took me and my fiancé very seriously.
She contacted the school to sort out a mediation meeting. When she told me that there was a meeting ahead I wanted to go but my fiancé didn't because she might find it difficult because of her autism.
When the boys said that they didn't know I had a disability I didn't believe them.
Both the boys said sorry but I don't believe them.
The meeting was helpful to get my point across but when I see the boys I still get angry but I know not to let my anger get the better of me.
At first it changed my behaviour but after the mediation they haven't come near.
I don't want anyone who is a victim of hate crime to go through what me and my fiancé went through that's why I support the campaign.
Hate crime is not anti-social behaviour; the police should take it seriously. It could be at home, in the street, it could be anywhere.