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Disability history month

Did you know it is Disability history month?

Derbyshire Constabulary supports all people living with different levels of ability,


Alfreton Police SNT actively supports local disability support groups and networks and we regularly reach out to these communities, and as a police service, we get to hear the issues they face that may not necessarily be visible to others.


We have compiled a list of some of the issues that have been reported to us recently and offer some advice about handling them, we hope you find them useful:


Have you ever parked on a pavement?  Even partially parking on the pavement can obstruct someone in a wheelchair from going about their daily business, both frustrating and dangerous as this leaves them in a vulnerable position having to go around the car - putting their life at risk, reports of people falling in the road from wheelchairs and mobility scooters are actually very common!  And it doesn't just have to be wheelchair or mobility scooter users,  people using walking aids who may be unsteady on their feet may often have to go around parked cars.
Our advice:  If you are stuck and cannot get by a parked vehicle, if you know who owns it, first try to tell them to move the car.  If they don't or you don't know the owner then report it to us on 101 stating that you are the victim.  The police have a power the remove a vehicle causing an obstruction, but only if a victim is present at the time or it presents a danger to other road users.   Always wear a hi vis or have some kind of hi vis/reflective markings on your wheelchair/mobility scooter so that you can be seen easily.


Hate crimes - People with disabilities may find themselves subject to abuse simply because they have a disability.  This could include anything from minor offences such as name calling/public order to the most serious offences such as GBH.  
Our advice:  The police deal with the offence at hand however we apply a hate/prejudice marker which can increase the sentencing and seriousness of the offence.  Please report this to us on 101 or 999 in an emergency.


Inability to access footpaths and gain access to buildings safely - All Derbyshire Police stations are disability friendly and most other businesses are, however there are still businesses that are not disabled friendly and have no plan B to cater for those with disabilities.  Some footpaths are inaccessible to wheelchair users - preventing them from commuting the same way as others, even a lack of drop curbs and pedestrian crossings.
Our advice:  If you find yourself being unable to get onto footpaths or notice a lack of drop kerbs in your area, then contact either the land owner of private land, or the county council, such as Derbyshire County Council.  Newer footpaths often have issues with off road motorbikes accessing them as there is usually no barrier or step to get over to access the path - this is for a very good reason, which is making the path available to all members of the community.   If you have access getting into buildings/businesses please contact the company directly to discuss these issues or the local authority such as the Parish council/District Council who may be able to help.


Disabled parking space abuse - We get a lot of reports relating to parking in disabled parking spaces, these are spaces designed to be close to the supermarket and to make life a little easier for those with a blue badge.  There are people that don't own a blue badge, and that park on the hatched areas designed to give extra space for access around the vehicle, this often leads to verbal altercations and road rage.
Our advice:  If this is happening to you, in a private car park such as a supermarket - speak to the management of the premises or their security if they have it.   If this is happening on the road/public areas then contact Derbyshire County Council civil enforcement officers as they can issue parking charge notices.  If this is in a public car park, contact the car park operator.


We hope these have helped and feel free to comment with your own issues and ask us for any advice that you may need.

If you need to report a crime contact 101 or 999 in an emergency.

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Message Sent By
Ben Gregory
(Derbyshire Police, PCSO, Amber Valley)

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