Campaign launched to tackle under-reporting of Disability Hate Crimes in Somerset

Disability Hate Crime is under-reported in Somerset, so Somerset County Council has teamed up with Frome-based community arts learning disability charity OpenStoryTellers to raise awareness this National Hate Crime Awareness Week (10 – 15 October).

Hate crime can take many forms – including verbal abuse and insults, bullying (both online and in person), anti-social behaviours, and financial exploitation. Disability Hate Crimes are attacks against disabled people, but what makes them different is that they may be perpetrated by friends, family members or carers. This means that they are less likely to be reported.

To encourage people to speak up when they see something wrong, Somerset County Council and OpenStoryTellers have produced a series of information videos and discussion cards identifying what disability hate crime is, how to report it, and where to get support.

Charlotte, Social Enterprise Manager at Open Story Tellers said:

“We need to make more people aware of what Disability Hate Crimes are and support all people to recognise the signs and know how to report them.

“This has been a hugely important project to work on and we are delighted with the final videos. It was imperative for us to work with disabled people to produce these important videos, ensuring their involvement at each stage to make sure the message is spread in their own voices.”

Cllr Adam Dance, Lead Member for Public Health, Equalities and Diversity added:

“It’s a horrible fact that people face daily abuse because they are thought of as being different, and this is certainly true for disabled people. Whether it’s verbal harassment in the street, ongoing bullying, or a physical act, these are all hate incidents and we want to ensure that people are able to identify what is a Disability Hate Crime and feel confident in reporting any incidents.”

To find out more information or watch the videos, visit Disability Hate Crimes (

Those who have witnessed or experienced a hate crime can report it by visiting:   Report hate crime | Avon and Somerset Police or by phoning 101. Always call 999 if you’re reporting a crime that’s in progress or if someone is in immediate danger.

Those who are interested in helping people with disabilities live fulfilling, independent lives can have a great career in social care. For more information, visit:


For further information, please contact the Press Office on 01823 355020 or email

Notes to Editors

Following a hate crime needs assessment in 2019 to support the Safer Somerset Partnership, Somerset County Council identified that, for the number of disabled people in Somerset, the reporting of disability hate crime was lower than should be expected.

OpenStoryTellers is a community arts charity supporting people with learning disabilities. They support people with learning disabilities to find their voice and use it.

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