The government and social care leaders must do more to tackle hate crime and abuse against people with learning disabilities, Community Care Live delegates were told yesterday.
Daniel Hardy, equal access to justice project worker at safeguarding charity Voice UK, criticised the government’s Valuing People Now paper for the absence of measures on safeguarding.
Valuing People Now was published last December to renew the government’s efforts to improve the life chances of people with learning disabilities and though it has a section on hate crime, it makes no reference to safeguarding.
Hardy also called for a public education campaign on disability hate crime in which social workers could play a leading role, and said there needed to be more third-party reporting of hate crime.
He added that people with learning disabilities who were victims of crime were being prevented from receiving therapy before trial, despite being entitled to receive it.
Hate crime against learning disabled people has received a higher profile since the murder of Steven Hoskin in Cornwall in July 2006. A serious case review published last December found that agencies had missed over 40 opportunities to intervene to protect him.