Disability hate crime is under-reported in the UK with perceived limited support given to the victims. The use of online communication resulted in cyber-disability hate cases, recognised by the Police with the addition of an ‘online-flag’ in the documentation. However, the cases remain under-reported, with potential individual, societal and organisational barriers to reporting especially during a pandemic. This paper aims to contextualise the reporting of cyber-disability hate cases, identify potential barriers, and provide recommendations to improve support to victims by the Police. The retrospective examination was carried out on disability-related cyber incidents documented by a police force in the UK for 19 months. Among 3,349 cyber-crimes, 23 cases were included. The analysis covered descriptive statistics and qualitative document analysis (QDA). Only 0.7% of cyber incidents or 6.7% of cyber-hate incidents were disability related. The age of victims ranged between 15 and 61 years, with a mean of 25.8 years. Most of the victims (78%) were from White ethnic background, and the majority were females (61.5%). Three overarching themes emerged from the qualitative data as influencers of reporting or documentation, these were: psychological impact, fear for safety, and the type of disability. Cyber-offences resulted in a serious impact on wellbeing, however, cases that included people with visible disabilities were more documented. Further awareness-raising targeting the police and public is needed to understand the impact of cyber-offences and recognise the different types of disabilities, which might encourage both reporting and documentation.
|Title of host publication||Cybersecurity, Privacy and Freedom Protection in the Connected World|
|Editors||Hamid Jahankhani, Arshad Jamal, Shaun Lawson|
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 21 May 2021|
|Event||Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Global Security, Safety and Sustainability. - London, UK, London, United Kingdom|
Duration: 14 Jan 2021 → 15 Jan 2021
|Name||Advanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications book series (ASTSA)|
|Conference||Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Global Security, Safety and Sustainability.|
|Period||14/01/21 → 15/01/21|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This publication was partially supported by the Police Innovation Fund 2016/17 from the Home Office, UK. It aims to advance incident response against cyberharrasment. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of funder.
- Incident response
- Law enforcement
- Online hate crime
- Disabled people