chapter  17
19 Pages

Disability hostility, harassment and violence in the UK

A ‘motiveless’ and ‘senseless’ crime?
WithPaul Hamilton, Loretta Trickett

The 2012 London Paralympic Games were the subject of widespread media coverage and intense speculation about how sport might act as a catalyst for engendering positive perceptions of disability in the UK. The 2012 London Paralympics were notable for a rarely seen positive portrayal of disability in the British media. The hope was that this would lead to positive progressive societal attitudes towards disability and an erosion of often endemic social exclusion. Regrettably, evidence from disability-support groups post-September 2012, indicate that this optimism has yet to translate into tangible attitudinal or ‘quality of life’ improvements on the ground. Speculating, the offending behaviours of some Disability Hate Crime perpetrators may be driven by a response to psychological discomfort towards disability; for others it may be that disability is a stark reminder of the mortality of all human beings.