STRANDS of disability hate crime is the police’s focus for the third day of their awareness week.

National Hate Crime Awareness Week is Essex Police’s campaign to raise awareness of different types of hate crime.

Today’s type of hate crime is aimed at a victim’s disability, or perceived disability.

Whether it’s a physical impairment, or an example of a learning disability or neuro-diversity, whether it’s visible or invisible, the police offers help and support.

There will be hate crime awareness stalls at three locations across the county today.

The first will be in Epping market between 9am and 12pm, the second in High Chelmer, Chelmsford, between 10am and 2pm, and the final stall will be at the Eastgate Centre in Basildon between 11am and 3pm.

Between September 2018 and August 2019, there were 361 disability hate crimes reported.

This ranged from verbal attacks, written malicious communications (both online and off), attempted robbery, harassment and criminal damage.

Working service animals can be targeted in these crimes as well.

The police works with partner organisations and charities like Disability Hate Crime UK, Mencap, the Royal National Institute for Blind People, Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Royal Association for the Deaf to help those in the disabled community.

Disability Hate Crime UK said: “Disability related hate crime is still a massively under reported area despite numbers rising year on year.

“We’re pleased to work with Essex Police to increase the knowledge of what constitutes disability hate crime, and how to report it.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We know that hate crime against the disabled community remains under-reported and, as with most hate crimes, this under-reporting is often a result of embarrassment or fear.

“In the case of certain disabilities, we know that a lack of accessibility to crime reporting can be an issue, so we try to ensure that our crime-reporting options are as inclusive as possible.

“If you don’t feel comfortable with reporting hate crime to us in the first instance, you can call the Stop Hate UK hotline on 0800 138 1625.

“They also have a Stop Learning Disability Hate Crime helpline, which you can call on 0808 802 1155.”

Hate crime can be reported online through the True Vision website at or by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency.