Play has cast of disabled people subjected to hate crime to raise awareness
Hate crime remains one of the biggest fears facing disabled people according to a leading charity.
A year after it launched its War on Hate Crime campaign, Quarriers says the problem shows few signs of abating with official figures showing hate crimes towards disabled people increased by 270% between 2011 and 2015.
Now the charity has specially commissioned a play, produced by arts company H-Arts, to shine the spotlight on the real-life experiences of people who have been subjected to disability crime.
Opened by Michael McMahon MSP in his role as convenor of the cross-party Group in the Scottish Parliament on disability, the play was performed Quarrier’s Scottish Epilepsy Centre with an address from Police Scotland about the importance of third party reporting.
Alice Drife, Quarriers chief executive, said: “Quarriers is dedicated to eradicating hate crime in Scotland and our ‘We Hate Bullying: It’s a Crime’ production is a powerful way of conveying the vital message that we are all responsible for speaking up on acts of bullying and harassment against those with a disability or any other member of society. It is a crime and members of the public should have the confidence to report it or condemn those who behave in such a way.
We are calling upon the public to listen to and share our message
“The cast in today’s drama are all people who have experienced shocking hate crimes and to have them tell their stories to the audience is a real testament to their bravery, and also demonstrates the urgency and necessity behind anti-hate campaigns.
“We are calling upon the public to listen to and share our message, as we strive to get as many people as possible to pledge their support for War on Hate Crime.”
Police Scotland inspector Nadine Aliane said: "Nobody should be made to feel unsafe in their own community or tolerate abuse because of a disability, their sexual orientation, their transgender identity, religion or ethnicity.
"We have been working in partnership with a number of charities and agencies to raise awareness of this type of crime and indeed, the increased level of reporting is testament to the increased confidence by victims to report any incidents to us.
"We welcome the work that is being carried out by Quarriers to raise awareness of hate crime."