St Albans barrister campaigning against disability hate crime
BEARING the brunt of bullying has inspired a disabled barrister from St Albans to take action against hate crime. Crown advocate David Chrimes, aged 44, was a guest speaker at a recent Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) conference, when the CPS and Herts Po
BEARING the brunt of bullying has inspired a disabled barrister from St Albans to take action against hate crime.
Crown advocate David Chrimes, aged 44, was a guest speaker at a recent Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) conference, when the CPS and Herts Police joined forces to battle against disabled hate crime.
David, who has difficulty walking and is partially sighted, has lent his support to the campaign which provides legal services to disabled people.
He told the conference hat he was "ready and primed" to prosecute those crimes motivated by hostility towards someone with a disability.
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David, who has suffered years of abuse and harassment since he was diagnosed with a rare nerve condition 20 years ago, said he hopes to make the scheme credible through his devotion to its aims.
"I think that because I'm disabled myself people will have someone to relate too. I want to bridge the gap between prosecution and victims, so that those who have suffered at the hand of disabled hate crime no longer feel alone."
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David, who lives in the Highfield Park area of St Albans, said his views on disabled hate crime have altered over the years: "I used to just brush the name-calling off, but after the tragic case of Fiona Pilkington and Scope's Getting Away With Murder report, I changed my mind. Now I realise that it's totally unacceptable and should be dealt with as a criminal offence."
At the conference, which was also attended by disabled people living in Herts, the CPS and police published their policies on reporting and prosecuting hate crime and offered advice for victims and witnesses at court.
For more information on reporting disability hate crime visit www.hertspolice.uk, where you can also fill out a self-reporting hate crime form.