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Henbane
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24 May 2011, 2:37 am

I feel very lucky that I haven't been a victim of this since moving to a more rural area. But I know of a lot of people who are still victims of low level abuse by their neighbours on a regular basis.



http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/ ... pilkington


Disability hate crime could lead to more suicides like Fiona Pilkington

Hate crime motivated by disability remains under-reported and often ignored by police facing cuts to budgets, say experts



A combination of government cuts and a sluggish official response to tackling disability hate crime means it is inevitable there will be future cases like that of Fiona Pilkington, who killed herself and her severely disabled daughter after years of abuse from local youths, experts warn.

Speaking ahead of the publication of the Independent Police Complaints Committee's (IPCC) report into the Pilkington case on Tuesday, which is expected to heavily criticise Leicestershire police, campaigners and academics say hate crime motivated by disability remains greatly under-reported and, all too often, ignored or underplayed by some forces.

"There's a whole series of problems stacking up. There will be other Pilkingtons, sadly," said Professor Alan Roulstone, an expert on disability hate crime at Northumbria University.



Pilkington, then 38, died alongside her severely disabled 18-year-old daughter, Francecca, in October 2007 after driving to a layby and setting the car on fire.

An inquest two years later heard how the family had been kept virtual prisoners in their home in Barwell, Leicestershire, by local youths who threw stones and kept up a relentless stream of abuse. The jury ruled that failings by police, who Pilkington contacted 33 times during seven years of torment, contributed to the deaths.

The case highlighted the apparent failure of many police forces to track, record and respond properly to crimes motivated by victims' disabilities, particularly involving people with learning difficulties. However, despite many protestations of change, too little has been done since then, Roulstone said.



"The police are beginning to address the problem at a strategic level, that's for sure. What is less clear is how that is translating into operational policing." A key issue, he said, was money to train officers to recognise and respond to disability hate offences: "With the current cuts, hate crime is slipping down the agenda. It wouldn't be right to name police forces, but certainly more than one force has said to me they don't have the money for training updates. Police officers understanding disability is a challenge, and very few forces manage to roll out training which makes sense to officers at the ground level."

The result is that many disabled people are still reluctant to go to the police, and when they do, they struggle to be taken seriously, he said: "There's something unique to disability-related politics, that people might be perceived to actually be the problem rather than the victim."

Mark Gale, a policy officer for Mencap, which is releasing a major report on disability hate crime next month, said: "I've been speaking to focus groups and some are saying they are still very disappointed with the police. In one case a man told me he called police several times to report incidents and was eventually told by a call centre that he was being recorded as a nuisance caller.



"Police don't seem to be taking the low-level incidents, as they would see them, seriously. And we know from Fiona Pilkington and other cases that these can escalate."

Gale added: "People tell us the police don't understand how to communicate with people with a learning disability. They don't even necessarily know how to recognise what a learning disability is, or what sort of support they can give. There are some improvements but at the moment it doesn't seem to be going far enough or quick enough."



markitzero
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24 May 2011, 2:54 am

I have been lucky also even I was in a city area and I wish I didn't have to moved to a Rural area alot of times because of my Special interest required Good broadband and I can't get it were I am at most I can afford 3G"10-20KB/s 99% of time" at $50 a month. I had no other choice but to move to a Rural Area were I am 5Miles away from town and no Buses.


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Keeno
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24 May 2011, 6:24 am

I am currently planning to move by renting out my flat and renting another one to live in, because I am simply not coping with living where I am. Definitely not the neighbourhood I mean, but the immediate block, because of behaviour quite similar to that described above. Even though I haven't been directly targeted as such, there has been quite a spate of drinking, rioting, vandalism etc, even stabbings. recently right outside my flat. It has been like this for the 3½ years I've lived there but much worse now. It couldn't be any closer without anything actually happening to my property. This is causing me health problems which should make moving, by whatever means, a necessity by now. I think the police have been called nearly 33 times by now, in half the time, but the youths get away with it with impunity every time because people under 16 are sacred cows above the law. Which is exactly why the tragedy in Barwell happened. Nothing to do with how urban or rural the place is, it's more socioeconomic, and there are plenty of small rural places that are relatively deprived.



Kraichgauer
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25 May 2011, 1:33 am

Now that pisses me off. I'm pissed off with both the cops, and the crackers. My heart really goes out to that woman, and her poor child.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



cyberdad
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26 May 2011, 8:00 am

Henbane wrote:
I feel very lucky that I haven't been a victim of this since moving to a more rural area. But I know of a lot of people who are still victims of low level abuse by their neighbours on a regular basis.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/ ... pilkington


This illustrates the ineffectiveness of police to intervene in what they refer to in Australia as "civil matters". My neighbour around 10 years lived in a housing estate where youths used to regularly pelt his house with stones. One day he caught one of the teenagers vandalizing the swings in the local playground. He told the boy off but later his friends came at night and put a bomb in his mailbox. About a month later his house was under attack from paint bombs.

The gentleman was a Vietnam war veteren who periodically suffers PTSD and the stress and noise of the paint bomb attack forced him to the police. He was advised that' s just a bunch of kids pulling pranks and they (the police) don't have the resources to search and charge the kids who would be released on a good behavior bond anyway. He had no choice but to sell his house and he moved next door to me.

His issue with mental illness and the abuse was a good story and the local paper published it.

I am deeply saddened by the suicide of this lady and her killing her daughter. She must have been severely depressed. Why was there no social support for her? did she have a case worker? where was her family? The community pretending to be bystanders while letting this happen is disgusting.

This harks back to the famous Kitty Genevose murder.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Kitty_Genovese

It was not the actual killing but the fact that 38 people watched the murder for 30 minutes but nobody even bothered to ring the police or intervene.

It is this bystander effect that allows for the abuse of vulnerable people in our community, nobody stands up for mentally ill people who are abused or bullied.



Tequila
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26 May 2011, 9:57 am

Henbane wrote:
I feel very lucky that I haven't been a victim of this since moving to a more rural area. But I know of a lot of people who are still victims of low level abuse by their neighbours on a regular basis.


I dislike calling it a "hate crime" - first of all, it's almost a contradiction in terms and secondly, it could also as well be not specifically targeted at people just because they have a disability but because the scum want someone to pick on for any reason.

It is a problem though and it's very difficult to work out what to do about it whilst the politicians insist on ignoring cases like this.

There was a case recently of a 'man' who smashed a woman passenger's head against an iron bar on a bus three times. He got a four month sentence for that.

I can see some people eventually snapping and going nuts over something like this, as well as more suicides.

A lot of this is down to the justice system/police/courts/interpretation of the HRA. The victims get ignored, mocked and punished and serious abuse of vulnerable people is allowed to go on or even encouraged.



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26 May 2011, 10:15 am

cyberdad wrote:
I am deeply saddened by the suicide of this lady and her killing her daughter. She must have been severely depressed. Why was there no social support for her? did she have a case worker? where was her family? The community pretending to be bystanders while letting this happen is disgusting.


What the local police were doing was utterly ignoring it. Over that period, this woman had contacted them probably hundreds of times with complaints of yobs abusing her and her family. They were listing each crime that happened over years individually rather than as part of a pattern.

So you can imagine that if there were something like 300 minor incidents (paint bombing, smashing their windows in, shouting abuse at their family, letting the tires down of their car, physically assaulting them, writing disgusting graffiti about them) and the local police deliberately log them individually, full well knowing that this is very, very serious but doing nothing about it.

Leicestershire Police had dozens of opportunities to confront this mob and deal with them but chose not to. Says a lot about the police and their attitudes to the weaker people of society, that.

And the SS weren't interested either if I remember rightly.



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26 May 2011, 2:22 pm

I've been in a situation like this and it destroys you. There needs to be a zero tolerance policy to this sort of behaviour. People should not feel frightened just to be in their own homes.



Tequila
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26 May 2011, 5:00 pm

MotherKnowsBest wrote:
I've been in a situation like this and it destroys you.


That's what I don't understand - what do the police expect you to do?

Do they really want a lot of suicides or killed thugs on their hands? Most mentally ill people will just turn inwards but some will snap. And they will privately be very much approved of, despite what the politically correct class think.

The less the police deal with stuff like this, the more people are going to decide to deal with it themselves.



psych
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26 May 2011, 6:33 pm

disturbing and peculiar case i read recently, bizarre synchronicity? Thankfully no one was physically hurt. bizarre because the disabled guy was travelling that day to give evidence against ATOS origin for their institutionally coordinated, massive attack against disability welfare claimants, but an attack by random people on the street prevented him.

I was shocked by ths account. anyone can end up in a wheelchair - how stupid are people?

http://afteratos.org/2011/05/19/day-par ... wriggling/



cyberdad
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27 May 2011, 1:04 am

Tequila wrote:
What the local police were doing was utterly ignoring it. Over that period, this woman had contacted them probably hundreds of times with complaints of yobs abusing her and her family. They were listing each crime that happened over years individually rather than as part of a pattern.
So you can imagine that if there were something like 300 minor incidents (paint bombing, smashing their windows in, shouting abuse at their family, letting the tires down of their car, physically assaulting them, writing disgusting graffiti about them) and the local police deliberately log them individually, full well knowing that this is very, very serious but doing nothing about it.
Leicestershire Police had dozens of opportunities to confront this mob and deal with them but chose not to. Says a lot about the police and their attitudes to the weaker people of society, that.


It's hard to believe, certain if she was a sister of one of the coppers then the weight of the law would been bought down on the yobs. It's a big election issue in Australian local government - police protection particularly for the elderly. But everyone knows that having an extra policeman on a train-line does not provide protection. I've seen the police and they seem to be more interested in catching fare evaders than stopping harassment of commuters.



Tequila
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27 May 2011, 10:14 am

cyberdad wrote:
It's hard to believe, certain if she was a sister of one of the coppers then the weight of the law would been bought down on the yobs.


That is what is often said here - people who are in the police get treated than the general public. Much of the time, the police just aren't interested. They've essentially left the arena of dealing with thugs and yobs and concentrate on punishing non-violent, peaceful people and raising fines instead. Bullies.

It's the scale of the abuse too - no-one who lived there could possibly not have known what was going on to Fiona and her daughter.

This hadn't just gone on for a while, it had gone on for at least seven years.

What worries me also is that the "community" (you know, that thing that politicians are endlessly bleating on about) did nothing to help them. They were quite happy to let the thugs run rampant, and I wouldn't be surprised if some people in that community were encouraging them!

Even after Fiona's death, though, it is said that the same gang is still causing problems for people living in that area.

Bollocks to 'em - just shoot the bastards on sight.



cyberdad
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28 May 2011, 6:01 am

Tequila wrote:
This hadn't just gone on for a while, it had gone on for at least seven years.
What worries me also is that the "community" (you know, that thing that politicians are endlessly bleating on about) did nothing to help them. They were quite happy to let the thugs run rampant, and I wouldn't be surprised if some people in that community were encouraging them!
Even after Fiona's death, though, it is said that the same gang is still causing problems for people living in that area..


Here in Australia we have the recent rise of ethnic gangs - Lebanese, Greek, Vietnamese, African and Moari. I've got nothing against these specific communities but the youngsters seem to be gaining a reputation as anti-social.



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02 Jun 2011, 3:41 pm

There's been a lot of cases in the last few years in England where there have been very young kids involved in murder on disabled or people with mental problems, such as these:
http://local.stv.tv/edinburgh/news/1914 ... -children/
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... erbox.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/engl ... 202351.stm



cyberdad
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03 Jun 2011, 2:44 am

Lonermutant wrote:
There's been a lot of cases in the last few years in England where there have been very young kids involved in murder on disabled or people with mental problems, such as these:
http://local.stv.tv/edinburgh/news/1914 ... -children/
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... erbox.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/engl ... 202351.stm


In relation to the gang bashing of a disabled man I found this extract (below) even more disturbing than the callousness of the murderers in attacking somebody who could not retaliate.

**The mother of the 16-year-old has been charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice by washing her son's bloodstained clothes.**



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03 Jun 2011, 5:19 am

A few years ago I lived in an old house converted into flats. The flat above was occupied by a young man who was slightly physically disabled, was quite overweight and I think had a slight degree of learning disability. It was his first home living independently from his parents. There wasn't any formal support in place, his parents visited regularly and occasionally he'd come to me for help with some minor practical things - the central heating timer was a regular one.

Unfortunately he attracted the attention of a bunch of local chav kids, whose daily entertainment consisted of chucking stones through his windows. And mine, but I think that was just collateral damage. The police weren't interested - it was seen as crim dam rather than as hate crime, and fairly soon his parents helped him move somewhere nicer. That's probably the best that could be achieved. The kids promptly got bored and went away.