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The extent of hate crime is as extraordinary as it is unacceptable. According to the British Crime Survey, as many as 260,000 racially motivated and religiously aggravated hate crimes were committed in the UK last year. That's not counting the 3 million women who are on the receiving end of some kind of gender-based violence, or the emerging statistics about violence and abuse experienced by LGBT people.

The Crown Prosecution Service has launched a national hate crime strategy and I was invited to speak in December at a conference staged with the North West Community Engagement Network, where the specific issue of disability hate crime was the focus.

Bullying, abuse and exploitation of disabled people has become more visible recently, following cases reported in the press. This item is based on my speech at the event, as Chair of the North West Equality and Diversity Group.

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