These cases studies are examples of hate incidents/crime that have happened in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area to raise awareness of the type of incidents that are taking place and to encourage people to come forward for support.
- Person A – 72 yr/old female uses 2 walking sticks to walk. When on a train and on more than one occasion, she was intimidated by some passengers with aggressive dogs. She said the dogs were making her scared and frightened and asked if they could control them. They refused and started laughing, and said “perhaps we should set them on you”. This made her wobbly on her feet. She said “this is really scaring me, could you do something about it?” The male passenger replied “life is tough”. The female passenger also said “the amount of dough you’re getting you could easily get a taxi” implying her disability benefits should be used to pay for a taxi. Two other train passengers started laughing at the lady. This started to scare her more so she decided to get off of the train early and wait for the next one to have a more peaceful journey. On another occasion, she saw them again on the same train and decided to go into a different carriage to avoid them. She felt that she shouldn’t have to change her lifestyle. She didn’t look for any services or support she didn’t want any embarrassment to go to others for help. It was never resolved as she didn’t want to approach anyone to help her because of the hostility she faced.
- Due to a medical condition Person B was extremely overweight, she has learning difficulties as well and relies on a frame and a stick to help her walk. She needs the priority seat on public transport to be closer to exits and easier to manoeuvre in and out of. On one occasion she was told she was abusing a priority seat as she took up more than one seat and was touching the person next to her. The person next to her told her “she was a fat burden on society” and called her a “f****ing fat cow, she’s taking up too much room and using up societies resources”. The victim got upset by this and asked the passenger not to be so rude. The person creating the hostility said “well if it wasn’t for you we’d have a better NHS and people who deserve benefits would get them and you’re just a parasite scum and it would be better if you didn’t live” and she was told she was “a burden on society”. Another passenger joined in and said “there should be special buses for people like her”. The first aggressor then said “it would be better for all of us concerned if you lost weight and weren’t such a fat b***h”. When the victim the left the bus, the first aggressor then followed her and continued to shout abuse at her. The victim started to get her mobile phone out to call the police but the aggressor went a different way when she noticed her. She reported it to the police at a later time and was interviewed by a constable. A statement was taken but she heard nothing further. She didn’t know she should follow it up with the police. No resolution as far as known. She has since been scared to leave her home as offender lived quite close.
- Person C has unusual mannerisms and an unusual walk due to his disability. He was often laughed at by children and younger people and just accepted that they were being immature and inconsiderate. A group in their late teens used to call him a “Spacko and a walking welly man” and surround him on the bus, hurling him abuse and hostility and pretended to take bets on him falling over as he was leaving the bus. He now has a fear of getting back on the same bus again. They also took photographs and posted them to social media with abusive comments. He mentioned it to his carer (unofficial report), who has the right to report it as a hate crime as well, but they didn’t know where to go.
The effect of this has resulted in a reluctance to use public transport and to be out in public – meaning missed appointment, missed opportunities for education or employment and complete social isolation. This has also led to lack of development of relationships and inability to get face-to face advice.