association of chief police officers accessible by HC121106135528



NPIA National Policing Improvement Agency

Mr Mike Smith
Lead Commissioner, Disability Harassment Inquiry
Equality and Human Rights Commission
Arndale House
The Arndale Centre
Manchester M43AQ

8 February 2012

Dear Mike

Formal Joint Response to Disability Related Harassment Inquiry -
Hidden in Plain Sight

Thank you for your letter dated 10th January 2012 in which you requested a
written response to the recommendations outlined in your report 'Hidden in
Plain Sight'.

This letter is the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and National
Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) Police Response, stating our views on
the recommendations and giving an indication of the steps that are likely to
be taken as a result.

As you will be aware, since the inquiry was launched and the EHRC Inquiry
report was released, a programme of work had been commissioned by Chief
Constable Stephen Otter, the ACPO Business Area Lead for EDHR. In my
capacity as Chief Constable of Leicestershire, I have been appointed by Mr
Otter to lead for this piece of work as I am the new ACPO Portfolio Holder for
Mental Health and Disability.

The NPIA, as a central resource and support for the Police Service, is
working in conjunction with ACPO on the response as they are intrinsically
linked in the functionality and delivery of a Police Service to the public. Mr
Peter Holland, the Chairman of the NPIA, is fully sighted on the inquiry and
has dedicated NPIA resources and members of staff to assist me with the

In response to this Inquiry, I have established a dedicated 'EHRC Disability
Related Harassment' coordinating group, involving myself, members of the
NPIA, the Metropolitan Police Service, a representative to speak on behalf of
the four Welsh Police Forces and a representative from the Ministry of Justice
(MoJ) who is a senior police officer, seconded to the MoJ to develop a cross
governmental hate crime action plan as there was recognition for the need of
a coordinated approach to tackle hate crime.

On the 28 November 2011, I convened a meeting of the relevant ACPO
Portfolio holders that have work areas with links to this inquiry. This included
my peers that hold the portfolios for Hate Crime, Drugs, Vulnerable Persons,
Victims and Witnesses, Out of Court Disposals, Neighborhood Policing and
Anti-Social Behavior. This helped me gain an insight to the work already
being undertaken in other portfolio areas and ensured that I can harness the
information and bond the work with my area and the Inquiry.

I also chaired the ACPO National Mental Health Forum, with leading
practitioners from around the country to discuss the recommendations from
the Inquiry.

In order to develop a structured approach, I have sought the views and
requested detailed comments of my fellow Chief Officers by circulating a
template to each of the 43 Home Office Police Forces.

Within the template, I sought to elicit the following;
 whether the Police Forces agreed with the recommendations
 to outline current activity
 to detail any planned activity
 to identify and to take into account any resource implications

The Coordinating group would then use the responses to the template to
formulate a full response or an action plan detailing the commitment and
actions to be undertaken by the Police Service.

The Police Service agrees in principle with the spirit of the seven core
recommendations and the eight police specific recommendations. There is a
real commitment from all Police Forces to tackling disability related
harassment but from the responses we have received so far from the
template, it indicates that there are differing opinions from across the country
on how the recommendations can be implemented practically within current
resources. The details of this will help shape the final response.
At this stage of the consultation period, further analysis needs to be
undertaken before a more detailed response can be provided on behalf of all
43 Police Forces. This must take cognisance of the fact that Police Forces
may be in the process of a change programme due to budgetary restrictions
and the difference in operating structures from Force to Force. Examples of
this are not only evident from the size of a rural force to a metropolitan force
but also due to the differing systems of the call management centres in Police

At present, there appears to be no single recommendation that has the
potential for greatest impact. There is general agreement from Police Forces
that there needs to be coordination between the Police and other agencies for
commissioning, implementing and delivering of the recommendations. The
'Definitive Data' recommendation has caused the most discussion amongst
Police Forces, specifically around the suggestion that we record whether a
victim is disabled at the first point of contact. The general consensus is that it
is impractical to do this without consideration of the other eight protected
characteristics. This is due to the time it may take when an incident has been
reported and is dependant on the nature of the incident and the ability of the
IT systems to record this.

As well as the work being conducted by the coordinating group and within the
Police Service, there are a number of areas of work that are ongoing which
have a direct impact and influence our response. As mentioned above, a
representative from the MoJ is on the coordinating group and is also leading
on the following;
 a cross governmental hate crime programme
 the Hate Crime Conference on the 13-15 March 2012, which includes a
   dedicated Disability Hate Crime Day, a General Hate Crime Day and a
   Cyber Hate Crime Day, to which Mike Smith is a keynote speaker
 ACPO Hate Crime Guidance
 Hate Crime reporting system (True Vision)
There has been some focused work conducted by individual Police Forces
following the publication of the EHRC Inquiry report. Some Police Forces
have already delivered bespoke training packages around hate crime and
specifically disability related hate crime. The NPIA are working on the
following products to further support Police Forces;
 e-briefing on the 'Hidden in Plain Sight' report and;
 building in 'disability related harassment' into relevant training material

It should be noted at this early stage that due to the NPIA being phased out,
the centrally coordinated work being conducted by them may take some extra
time to implement. Their functions are being transferred to the National Crime
Agency and a new Policing Professional Body. When I have more details of
this transition I will update the EHRC accordingly.

Alongside the work above, I am also aware that individual Police Forces are
signing up to the Mencap 'Stand By Me' Campaign which has been endorsed
by myself and ACPO. There are also other Police Forces that are conducting
local partnership working and are committed to local campaigns to tackle hate

I have been interviewed by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary
(HMIC) on the forthcoming Joint Inspection on Disability Hate Crime which
was an opportunity to highlight the work being undertaken by ACPO and the
NPIA on the Inquiry which will in turn, be fed back to the EHRC by HMIC.

I am aware that the four Welsh Forces have four additional recommendations
to consider. An ACPO level officer representing the Welsh forces is
coordinating a separate response to these which will go to EHRC Cymru
directly (a copy is enclosed for your information).
All Police Forces are subject to the equality duty and must, in the exercise of
their functions, have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful
discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by
the Equality Act 2010. Through ACPO, I will be actively seeking to influence
Police Forces by providing advice and guidance to adopt an Equality
Objective around this important area of work, in conjunction with partners.
The Police Service is working towards a full response and is fully committed
to the Inquiry. Part of this includes the setting up of a reference group with
specialist skills and knowledge across a broad range of disability related
issues. They will scrutinise the Police response and be given the opportunity
to feed back to me issues and concerns that may arise.

Yours sincerely

Simon Cole Chief Constable
ACPO Lead, Mental Health and Disability

Leicestershire Police St Johns

1st Floor, 10 Victoria Street, London SW1H ONN
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Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Ms. Jackie Roberts
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Pencadlys Heddlu Oyfed-Powys, B/wch Post 99, Llangynnwr, Caerfyrddin,
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27 January 2012

Dear ,~\rvlC?l )

EHRC Inquiry into disability-related harassment

I am writing to you in my role as the Lead for the All-Wales Police Diversity
Group, which is a quarterly meeting for equality leads and practitioners in the
4 Welsh police forces (Dyfed-Powys Police, Gwent Police, North Wales
Police and South Wales Police), and a platform for collaborative working.

My purpose in writing is to provide you with an All-Wales response to the
recent request for information from your Diversity Manager, Lynne
Woodward, to the various sets of recommendations from the Commission.

The Welsh forces have been collaborating for many years in an effort to
increase the reporting of hate crime and improve our response to victims. Our
work to address disability hate crime pre-dates the Commission's Inquiry.
Following the inquest into the deaths of Fiona Pilkington and her daughter
Francecca Hardwick, the media focused significant attention on reporting on
the topic of disability related Anti-Social Behaviour and Hate Crime. In
response to this media attention, and working in partnership with Disability
Wales and its association of disabled people's organisations, the Welsh
forces facilitated Consultation and Involvement Forums in February and June

The events were attended by around fifty people representing Disability
Wales, Chief Executives from disabled people's organisations across Wales,
Victim Support, Equality and Human Rights Commission, Welsh Assembly
Government, Crown Prosecution Service, Welsh Local Government
Association, senior police officers, police diversity practitioners,
representatives from Police Independent Advisory Groups and Police
Employee Network Groups.

We asked participants to identify how public and third sector organisations
could respond better to incidents of Anti-Social Behaviour, Hate Crime, and
harassment targeted at disabled people. A multi-aqency Action Plan was
agreed as a result of feedback from participants, with the aim of increasing
reporting of disability hate crime, and increasing support and protection for

Prif GwnstabllChief Constable • Mr. Ian Arundale • MSc (Econ), BA(Hons),

Y Wobr Brydemiq am Wasanaeth 0 Safon
The National Award for Quality of Service
Mae Heddlu Dyfed-Powys yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn y Gymraeg neu'r
Buddsoddwyr Mewn Pobi

Oyfed-Powys Police welcomes correspondence in either Welsh or English.

Investors in People
The Equality and Human Rights Commission's Inquiry into disability-related
harassment has sharpened our focus around disability hate crime.

One of the recommendations in the Wales summary report is that
'partnerships that prevent and respond to harassment and share effective
practice should be encouraged, including piloting Multi-Agency Risk
Assessment Conferences. '

The report explains: 'A key theme of the evidence from Wales was the view
that the most effective means of eliminating disability harassment is through
partnership working involving public authorities, the voluntary sector, disabled
people's organisations and individuals.'

'Wales has a relatively small number of public authorities and strong
networks. This provides opportunities to save lives and increase the impact of
strategies to tackle disability harassment. By sharing information and effective
practice, and by working in partnership, public authorities can increase the
possibility of providing seamless management of individual cases. Some
contributors pointed to the success of the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment
Conferences (MARACs) currently used in Wales in cases of domestic abuse.
This was suggested as a possible pilot approach for disability harassment. At
a MARAC, local agencies meet to discuss high-risk victims of domestic abuse
living within the local area. The primary objective is to reduce the risk of
serious harm or homicide for a victim and increase the health, safety and
wellbeing of those at risk.' (Hidden in plain sight': Wales Summary).

Working alongside Jan Pickles, I had a key role in developing the Domestic
Abuse MARACs in Wales, and witnessed their success in identifying victims
at the highest risk of harm or homicide, and reducing that risk through
information sharing and implementing multi-aqencv action plans.

In response to the Commission's Inquiry into disability-related harassment,
therefore, the 4 Welsh forces have provisionally agreed the following as one
of their 'equality objectives' under the remit of the Public Sector Equality Duty:

Working with our partners in the public and third sectors, we will
identify and intervene in the most high-risk cases of disability-related
harassment through a Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference
(MARAC) process, to prevent the escalation of harassment, abuse, and
violence, and protect victims from further harm.
Due to the small numbers of cases currently reported, we have agreed that
other high-risk cases of hate crime (for example race hate crime) may also be
addressed through the MARAC process.

The MARAC process will focus on both victims and offenders of disability -
related harassment. It will link to risk assessments in respect of victims of
antisocial behavior, identify whether victims are disabled, and consider
whether or not the disability may have been a factor in why incidents of anti-
social behavior have occurred.

The MARAC process itself will provide us with more data in respect of
perpetrators. This will lead to a better understanding of the motivations and
circumstances of perpetrators, enabling us to design more effective
interventions which will be fed back in to the MARAC process.

Many of the 'core recommendations' set out in the Inquiry's report will be
addressed through the MARAC process, along with some 'key areas for
improvement for the Police' set out in the Police-specific report, and
recommendations for Public Authorities in Wales, as set out in the Wales
summary report.

The Wales summary report identifies 4 key areas for intervention for all Public
Authorities in Wales based on local evidence collected during the Inquiry:
 A determination to eliminate harassment needs to be shown by leaders.
  Partnerships that prevent and respond to harassment and share effective
  practice should be encouraged, including piloting Multi-Agency Risk
  Assessment Conferences;
 The new equality duties should be used to priorities tackling disability
 A human rights based approach to safeguarding should be introduced by
  the Welsh Government;
 We want to see increased reporting and call on public authorities to put in
  place measures to ensure a positive reporting experience and effective

Evidently, these recommendations are particularly important to Welsh police
forces, since we work in partnership with other public authorities and third
sector organisations in Wales. On this basis, the All-Wales Police Diversity
Group has agreed that its main focus will be the 4 key recommendations for

However, by focusing our energies on developing a MARAC model for
disability hate crime, and by making this one of our strategic equality priorities
for 2012 - 2016, we will also address the following 'key recommendations'
from the Inquiry:
 Definitive data is available which spells out the scale, severity and nature
   of disability harassment and enables better monitoring of the performance
   of those responsible for dealing with it. [In developing the MARAC process,
   we will review how data is captured, shared, and risk assessed by all
   organisations involved.]
 The criminal justice system is more accessible and responsive to victims
   and disabled people and provides effective support to them. [The
   establishment of the MARAC process will require us to review the whole
   'journey' of reporting hate crime and anti-social behavior. The Crime
   Prosecution Service in Wales has agreed to take part in the establishment
   of Hate Crime MARACs.]
 We have a better understanding of the motivations and circumstances of
   perpetrators and are able to more effectively design interventions. [We
   anticipate that the MARAC process itself will provide us with more data in
   respect of perpetrators. Any learning will be fed back in to the risk
   assessment template.]
 Promising approaches to preventing and responding to harassment and
   support systems for those who require them have been evaluated and
   disseminated. [The Hate Crime MARAC process will be evaluated.]
 All frontline staff who may be required to recognise and respond to issues
   of disability-related harassment have received effective guidance and
   training. [Training for staff, including front-line call-handlers, will be built in
   to the MARAC model.]

Finally, the MARAC model will also address these 'specific recommendations
for the police:
 Police forces should develop an in-depth understanding of the
   characteristics and motivations of perpetrators, design local prevention
   strategies accordingly and evidence their effectiveness. [As explained
 Police forces need to review their 'no-criming' and 'motiveless' procedures,
   to give warning triggers when the victim is disabled, to ensure they fully
   capture the true incidence of harassment. [Again, systems for identifying
   and risk assessing victims of disability harassment will be reviewed as part
   of the establishment of Hate Crime MARACs.]
 The police must always take a prompt lead in investigating all repeat cases
   of disability-related harassment that come to their attention and should not
   use responses such as safeguarding as a substitute. When doing so, they
   should be able to identify earlier interventions, including notification of pre-
   criminal incidents. Police call response priorities should be based on this
   data. [As with Domestic Abuse MARACs, the Hate Crime MARACs will be
    designed to flag up repeat cases. In the risk assessment, 'repeat case' will
    be one indicator of high risk.]
   Where the police identify suspected repeat victimisation or a suspected
    repeat disability-related harassment perpetrator, the investigation should
    automatically receive a higher-priority status for resolution. [Again, the
    MARAC system allows organisations to identify and prioritise high-risk
    victims, through a risk assessment process.]
   All incidents and crimes should be investigated for potential aggravated
    offences where disability may be a factor, both at the beginning of a report
    and throughout the case. This will require officers and prosecutors to
    develop intelligence around perpetrator motivation, the personal
    characteristics of the victims and the situational vulnerability, and assess
    likelihood of disability-related harassment being either primary motivation
    or secondary motivation and act accordingly. [This recommendation will be
    factored into the development of the MARAC process, through working in
    partnership with the CPS.]
   The seriousness of the offence, rather than the capacity of the victim (and
    especially any concerns about their potential reliability as a witness),
    should form the basis for any police investigation.
   The police should identify where 'special measures' may be required as
    soon as possible in any investigation. They should also ensure that
    prosecutors are made aware of the need for such equalising measures in
    any court proceedings, and ensure they are notified to the Courts at the
    earliest possible opportunity. They should also ensure that, where
    required, 'responsible adult' provisions are both understood and fully
    implemented. [The MARAC process will make it easier to identify special
    measures needed at an early stage in the investigation. The benefit of the
    MARAC is that it enables organisations to focus on the individual needs
    and circumstances of victims - for example, a voluntary organisation may
    have information about a victim's needs that the police does not have. As
    explained above, the CPS will be a key partner in the development of the
    Hate Crime MARACs in Wales.]

We are in the initial stages of planning the Hate Crime MARAC model.

The pilot will be led by the Welsh forces, with representation from the CPS,
local authorities, third sector organisations, disability organisations, the
Equality and Human Rights Commission, and the Welsh Government.

As well as prioritising the MARAC as an All-Wales vehicle to address many of
the recommendations, individual Welsh forces are undertaking localised work
that supports the implementation of other recommendations set out in the
reports referred to above.
I hope this provides an adequate explanation of the approach of Welsh
forces, and reassurance that we have considered the wider raft of
recommendations issued by the Inquiry.

Yours sincerely

Mr. Simon Coles,
Chief Constable, Leicestershire Constabulary, St. John's,

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