Why we need Police Liaisons for the Disability Community

Police liaison officers are an important roll to both the service and to the community. Particularly for specific community groups who can often feel isolated or segregated from the general community. When we have community groups like this, they become less likely to report crimes against them.

Police Liaison Officers are employed by the Queensland Police Service to establish and maintain a positive rapport between culturally specific communities and the Queensland Police Service. The role of Police Liaison Officers is to promote trust and understanding through their liaison role by assisting the community and police to:

  • reduce and prevent crime;

  • divert people from the criminal justice system;

  • advise and educate police officers on culture and cultural issues; and

  • improve community knowledge of  law and order issues and policing services.Source: QPS Website

 

Throughout this campaign despite our continuous efforts to engage and work with law enforcement agencies, the general feedback we’ve had from the community is that Police don’t take our issues seriously enough. They’re overloaded with bigger issues to deal with and things like disability parking are way down the list of priorities unless you come across extraordinary officers such as Senior Constable Christie May of Queensland Police who has been our strongest advocate.

Fear of being able to communicate with police effectively is also another concern that has been raised amongst the disability community which needs to be addressed.

It’s certainly not that the disability community feels any crime committed against them is more important than the same happening to anyone else, but that they are less likely to report it for a number of reasons. By having liaisons who have been trained in communicating with people with disabilities and understanding the issues they face, it makes that community of people trust the person they speak to more without fear of judgement or being treated less significantly.

The statistics of crimes where people with disabilities are the victim are outrageous when the unreported incidences are included. Some examples are:

There is growing evidence that women with a disability are more likely to experience violence. For example, 90% of Australian women with an intellectual disability have been subjected to sexual abuse. (Source:  Woman With Disabilities Australia (WWDA), 2004)

Disabled people are more likely than non-disabled people to experience hate crimes. And perpetrators are more likely to receive leniency in sentencing if the victim is a disabled person. (Source: http://wwda.org.au/issues/viol/viol1995/hate/)

People with disabilities are being routinely denied the basic human right of access to justice. (Source: http://apo.org.au/research/beyond-doubt-experiences-people-disabilities-reporting-crime)

People with an intellectual disability are almost three times more likely than those without a disability to be victims of physical assault, sexual assault and robbery. (Source: http://www.aic.gov.au/media_library/publications/tandi_pdf/tandi060.pdf)

It is well documented that people with disability, especially girls and women with disability, are over-represented as victims of crime. People with disability are more likely to be victims of violence, fraud and sexual assault. They are also more likely to experience multiple episodes of all forms of abuse and neglect. (Source: http://www.pwd.org.au/issues/preventing-violence.html)

 

So it’s about time. Lets start asking the Police Minister in every state to appoint

Police Liaison officers for people with disabilities in Australia.*

Share the link to this post with your State MP, the Minister for Police/Emergency Services

and the Police Commissioner.

 

*Victoria recently began an inquiry into the handling of disabled victims of crime after a report identified high number of cases being mismanaged and as a result Disability Liaison officers are being trained.

I Love Hatemail It’s So Funny

Reposted from the lost archives:

Thank you for your time and 70 cents to make me pee myself laughing

Today I went to park my car so that before picking up the children from school I could run a few errands. By run of course I mean limp along in a weird kind of leg drag way. The first two nearest parks are taken so I drive to the other end of the street and attempt to park in the only available disability bay left.

EVERY SINGLE DAY in this area we find this. Because people don’t understand parking rules or signs.
To provide further evidence….

Stopping (without displaying a current parking permit for people with disabilities) in a parking area for people with disabilities
203(1) Transport Operations (Road Use Management – Road Rules) Regulation 2009

Stopping on a road in a position that obstructs access to and from a footpath, driveway etc. 198 Transport Operations (Road Use Management – Road Rules) Regulation 2009

Yes, both rules are being breached here. Double fine perhaps?

blocked7

Of course I had to park all the way over to the left, because if I park in the middle, the car on the right is always guaranteed to park right on the line limiting the amount of space I have to get in and out of the car. Unfortunately I left before the person could return to their car to complain about being parked in.

It’s a daily occurrence here. I pick up my kids from the school here and every day the four disability parks and the four access ramps are blocked. I’ve tried being polite and mostly all I receive is abuse. I even get told to mind my own business. Yes, mind my own business.

These were all taken over the past two weeks
blocked1 blocked2 blocked3 blocked5 blocked6 blocked8

But today I managed to get a space and was very grateful that I was not depending on a wheelchair at this point in time. It would be a long push up the street to access the path.

I do my errands and among them is checking the post office box. I checked it and to my surprise there was not only mail but it was address to “NO PERMIT”.

I was excited to open it and at first when I started reading I was a little annoyed but the further I read the more I laughed. I walked all the way back to my car laughing and laughing. Seriously this person not only took the time to write it but paid to post it and all I could do was laugh at him.

He even sent the flyer back to me. It’s one of the flyers I had professionally printed (at my own cost) and I’ve only given them out to a few people those people are always diligent in checking. Now I have no idea who this is, or where the space in question was but please, share this around and if the brave soul ever comes forward to claim it and can prove to me he was not in a disability zone (including the diagonal lined no parking access space) then I will more than gladly apologise. HOWEVER, I will also be happy to educate him on how disability occurs. And I will also invite any volunteer campaigners along to explain how despite looking after their health they were struck with the tragedy of an accident or illness that caused their disability or through absolutely no fault of theirs, were born like that.

I might also recommend he use a wheelchair for a week and then tell me I’m lazy.

hatmail1
My very first handwritten hate mail

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