Disability harassment

Many disabled people suffer from harassment, anti-social behaviour or crimes which they don’t report. Local councils, Dorset Police, other organisations and voluntary groups want to change this.

To encourage people to report incidents we think it would be useful for people to understand what will happen when you call the police and that there is support for disabled people to help them through the process. 

Reporting to the Police 

In an emergency phone 999 or deaf people can text 80999.

If you're not in danger, call 101, deaf people can text 07766425243 or report on the Dorset Police website.

To intervene in situations to prevent them escalating, the police need to identify vulnerable and repeat victims as soon as possible. This is why when a victim phones Dorset Police to report a personal crime or anti-social behaviour an initial victim assessment is carried out.

The caller is asked a series of questions, called a ‘TOPIC’ assessment. They are:

  • Targeted - do you think you were personally targeted?
  • Often - how often do problems occur?
  • Prejudice - is this incident based on prejudice? (if yes, it is treated as high risk)
  • Impact - how is this impacting on the caller's or any other person's life?
  • Contact - how does the caller wish to be contacted?

This assessment establishes the potential vulnerability of the victim, or whether they are a repeat victim.

These factors influence the response according to vulnerability. Software in the police control room also recognises is when the caller’s telephone number has been used to contact the police before, which prompts further questioning. 

  • what happens when if you report a personal crime or incident of personal ASB
  • if the victim wishes to see a police officer then an officer will be sent.
  • if the victim has suffered 2 personal incidents in a 12 month period, then a Safer Neighbourhood Team officer will be appointed as case manager. if it is a hate related incident (see definitions below) then a supervisor will manage the response.
  • more than 3 incidents in a 12 month period and the case is allocated to a Safer Neighbourhood Team Sergeant.
  • more than 5 incidents and the Neighbourhood Inspector takes responsibility, and the issue is escalated to the local Tasking and Coordinating group attended by partners.
  • all repeat hate crime incidents will require a harm reduction plan to be initiated. 

The definition of a hate crime or incident

Disabled people can report any type of crime or incident to the police. The response above relates to specific types of incidents and crimes defined by the Dorset Police as follows:

A disability hate related incident as:

  • any non-crime incident, which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person’s disability 

A disability hate crime as:

  • any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person's disability 

If you wish to make a complaint about how your report has been handled please use Dorset Police complaints procedure.

Other ways to report

Alternatively, you can report incidents to us on 01202 633 516, report online or third party reporting centres like Access Dorset and Poole Forum. If it's a Hate Crime you will be encouraged and supported to tell the Police.

An easy read crime reporting form for people with learning disabilities is also available from Poole Forum or ourselves.

You can also report incidents anonymously to Crimestoppers or call 0800 555 111.

Page last updated: 13 August 2020
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