Breaking Mobility News October 2020

Our latest issue of mobility news October we cover the key issues that have impacted people during the covid-19 pandemic. We discuss the increase in disability hate crimes, the impact of the pandemic on the economy and the government disability network. 

Mobility News October: Disability hate crimes

Disability hate crimes is a real and genuine concern currently. According to the latest statistics the number of reported cases where individuals are reporting hate crime has increased by an average of 12% [1]. The vast majority of this increase has been focused primarily on people with disabilities. This issue has been exacerbated by the decrease of prosecutions in court [2]. The disability news are reporting that the decrease in prosecutions has been as high as 40% in just one year. As one leading disabled campaigner expressed their view and said, “The figures show that the police have failed the disabled community yet again”.

It’s the third year in a row that disability hate crimes prosecutions have fallen quite steeply and is clear proof that people with disability needs are being neglected. It has caused real alarm and distress amongst disabled campaigners. Anne Novis, a passionate and leading expert on disability hate crimes has expressed her view and mentioned the police service by saying they have “allowed perpetrators to get away with harassment, abuse and hostility”.

In response to this Kamran Malick, the chief executive of disability rights UK mentions that reports of hate crimes to police have increased, but prosecutions are falling. Disabled people are a part of society and deserve more than what they receive. Mocking them in any way, shape or form is an act which should be treated more seriously and is a criminal offence. All forms of hate crime are completely unacceptable.

Mobility News October: The pandemic recession

In our second piece of Mobility news October we focus on the Pandemic Recession. According to John Pring of the disability news service, “the recession associated with the pandemic is likely to have a disproportionate impact on disabled employees, just as it did in the last recession” [3]. In this context, we the focus is on doing more with less, leading to increased workloads, wage freezes and restricted access to overtime and training. This recession is showing similar trends and patterns from the last recession of 2007 in terms of its impact on the disabled.

Research conducted by disability at work shows that there is evidence consistent with the argument that economic downturns have a disproportionate negative impact on the employment of disabled people. With a leading study finding that during upturns disabled people are the last to gain employment and during downturns they are the first to be made unemployed [4].

If employers respond to the Covid-19 recession in a similar manner to the last recession then the research evidence suggests that this will have an disproportionate negative impact on the disabled. The Government must step in and have a say in what goes on and provide additional support to disabled people and ensure their opportunities and rights are adequate and fit for purpose during a downturn in recession.

Mobility News October: The Governments disability network

In our final piece of news ministers have created nine regional networks in order to amplify the voices of disabled people. While this is a positive move in the right direction there is a concern on how these networks are run. Feedback from some of the participants suggest that 5 of the 9 regional networks have not held a single meeting, nearly two years after the government announced they were being set up [6]. The aim was to bring the views of disabled people and local disabled organisations closer to the government. 

As emphasised by GOV.UK, the minister for disabled peoples Justin Tomlinson has said, “if we are truly going to break down the barriers disabled people face in everyday life, it’s vital that we listen to their views”. That’s an issue which needs to be resolved. Disabled people to be more involved and have their voices heard to be made the highest priority for the 9 regions [7].

The near silence has come at a bad time in which disabled people and organisations are calling for national leadership. Tomlinson came under real criticism the past month for only holding two meetings in the past 6 months.

Thats it for this month. We will hopefully have more news for you next month. if you feel that we have missed something or would like to write for us please contact us via our contact form.

Mobility News October 2020 References

  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-49975697
  • https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/disability-hate-crime-prosecutions-plummet-while-home-office-stays-silent/
  • https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/disabled-people-need-equal-and-fair-hate-crime-laws-mps-are-told/
  • https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2018/july/global-disability-summit-2018
  • https://www.disabilityatwork.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/disability@work-COVID-19-recession-briefing.pdf
  • https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chairs-appointed-to-network-to-give-disabled-people-stronger-voice
  • https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/two-years-on-most-of-governments-new-disability-networks-remain-silent/

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