Connect with us

Education

Cambridgeshire police officer ‘on a mission’ to put an end to disability hate crime

Cambridge police officer says ‘it’s about educating so it doesn’t happen again’

Avatar photo

Published

on

A police officer is “on a mission” to put disability hate crime in the spotlight in a bid to encourage more victims to report incidents. PC Jake Weldon, 31, who is based in Cambridge city, said he wants to raise awareness about how to recognise and report this type of hate crime as he said it’s “massively under-reported”.

“Victims sometimes try to make a joke or shrug it off when something happens.” he said. “But if someone calls a disabled person a derogatory word, such as ‘the r-word’, it could be a public order offence.

“And if someone comes along and pushes a person in their wheelchair without their permission – it’s an assault. They don’t see the criminality.

Advertisements
Pictures

“It’s happening all the time in communities and yet it’s not talked about – incidents are just not being reported.”

PC Weldon grew up with his older brother Barry, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and autism after contracting meningitis as a baby.

At 16 years old, PC Weldon began two years as his brother’s carer until he went to university.

“I saw being a carer as a positive. It made me a better person and more empathetic,” said PC Weldon, who after graduating, joined a travel agent which specialises in holidays for people with disabilities.

“I enjoyed the disability sector which inspired to join the police as I am motivated to help people,” he said.

PC Weldon said through his role, he can help educate the community about hate crimes, such as school visits and other community events, and use those opportunities to explain that not all disabilities are obvious.

“For example, in one incident, there was a man with muscular dystrophy who struggled to walk, and often stumbled,” he recalled.

 PC Jake Weldon said he is “on a mission” to encourage people to report hate crimes - not just to bring perpetrators to justice, but also for the wellbeing of victims.

PC Jake Weldon said he is “on a mission” to encourage people to report hate crimes – not just to bring perpetrators to justice, but also for the wellbeing of victims.

“People assumed he was drunk, and someone thought it would be funny to run over to him and push him over – he couldn’t get back up.”

Advertisements
canopyuk.com in-article

PC Weldon said he is “on a mission” to encourage people to report hate crimes – not just to bring perpetrators to justice, but also for the wellbeing of victims.

“Often perpetrators don’t realise the impact these seemingly ‘minor’ incidents can have on the confidence of someone with a disability. Victims can easily become isolated because they don’t feel safe to go out,” he said.

“And that also to applies to those who have recently become disabled, for example, amputees, who are trying to get used to a new way of life,” he said.

“If incidents are reported, even if you don’t get a description of the perpetrator, we can also look at trends and increase our patrols where the incident took place. We can look to see if there’s a wider trend and target these groups.”

But PC Weldon said it is also about educating, to encourage perpetrators to see the error of their ways which can be done with out of court disposals or a process like Restorative Justice.

“There are online courses such as anger management and thinking skills.  There is also restorative justice – a voluntary process, facilitated by trained practitioners, which enables victims to communicate with an offender in a controlled environment to address the harm caused.

“It’s instead of just putting them in cuffs and taking them to the cells, it’s about educating so it doesn’t happen again.”

PC Weldon said there is also the force’s Pegasus scheme for those who would struggle to report incidents to the police, especially in an emergency situation.

“I know there must be many people out there with communication needs who could benefit from joining Pegasus. I would urge anyone with a communication need to sign-up,” he said.

The Pegasus scheme is free, and by pre-registering your information with the force, we can access it quickly if you call us just by saying the word ‘Pegasus’. You don’t need to repeat all your details.

To sign-up or for more information about the Pegasus scheme visit: https://www.cambs.police.uk/contact/af/contact-us/us/contact-us/sspegasus-scheme/pegasus-scheme

 

Facebook

Read More

Jamie Parish, 35, of Stirling Square, Godmanchester, died when after his red Mercedes C220 entered the Fort Foot Drain, Forty Foot Bank, near Chatteris, at about 11.50am on Thursday (13 June). Jamie Parish, 35, of Stirling Square, Godmanchester, died when after his red Mercedes C220 entered the Fort Foot Drain, Forty Foot Bank, near Chatteris, at about 11.50am on Thursday (13 June).
News7 mins ago

Godmanchester motorist dies in Forty Foot Bank river crash near Chatteris

Jamie was a much-loved husband, brother, son, grandson, and a devoted father

Two separate fund-raising campaigns have been launched to help a family following a fire at their Bramley Road, Wisbech, home. Two separate fund-raising campaigns have been launched to help a family following a fire at their Bramley Road, Wisbech, home.
News39 mins ago

Urgent appeal to help Wisbech family recover from house blaze

Family home uninhabitable due to extensive fire damage

Historically Brook Cottages are known to be a pair of cottages dating to the 18th century Historically Brook Cottages are known to be a pair of cottages dating to the 18th century
News3 hours ago

National Highways demolish historic cottages as part of £1bn road scheme

Work began today (17 June) and is expected to take four weeks to complete

A three-month closure order has been placed on a Huntingdon dessert shop following concerns of child sexual exploitation and child criminal exploitation A three-month closure order has been placed on a Huntingdon dessert shop following concerns of child sexual exploitation and child criminal exploitation
News4 hours ago

Huntingdon shop gets its ‘just desserts’ after drugs and sexual exploitation claims

Peterborough magistrates’ issued the order closing Dessert Central

News19 hours ago

Fresh problems hit flagship £32m A605 King’s Dyke crossing at Whittlesey

Jones Bros to check 'why these cracks have appeared'

Guy Forster has been elected as vice president of APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) a not-for-profit organisation which represents injured people and bereaved families. Guy Forster has been elected as vice president of APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) a not-for-profit organisation which represents injured people and bereaved families.
News21 hours ago

Cambridge solicitor signs up to fight for those harmed by NHS ‘avoidable failures’

Guy Forster is now vice president of Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

A full closure order was served on 81 Princes Street, Millfield, on June 12 A full closure order was served on 81 Princes Street, Millfield, on June 12
News21 hours ago

3 month ban on visitors to Peterborough house where ‘vulnerable children’ found

A full closure order was served on 81 Princes Street, Millfield

Keiran Williams (L) and Adam Clarke (R) at the Norwich 100 riding in East Anglian Air Ambulance kit Keiran Williams (L) and Adam Clarke (R) at the Norwich 100 riding in East Anglian Air Ambulance kit
News23 hours ago

Soham and Watton cyclists set £3,250 target for air ambulance – and here’s why

The cost of Adam’s rescue by EAAA was £3,250  

Drag Queen, Felicity Flappes said: “What an incredible night at Rainbow Runway and way to kick off Pride celebrations in Cambridge!” Drag Queen, Felicity Flappes said: “What an incredible night at Rainbow Runway and way to kick off Pride celebrations in Cambridge!”
News24 hours ago

Felicity Flappes adds sparkle to Pride fund raiser at Grand Arcade Cambridge

Charity works to eliminate discrimination of LGBTQ+ community

Cambridgeshire Chief Constable, Nick Dean, will be awarded a King’s Policing Medal (KPM) as part of the King’s Birthday Honours Cambridgeshire Chief Constable, Nick Dean, will be awarded a King’s Policing Medal (KPM) as part of the King’s Birthday Honours
News1 day ago

King’s Policing Medal award for Cambridgeshire chief constable Nick Dean

Nick joined Norfolk Constabulary in September 1992