Today a bus driver and passenger called me a spastic. — Scope | Disability forum
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Today a bus driver and passenger called me a spastic.

[Deleted User]
[Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
edited January 9 in Start here and say hello!
Has anyone reported it as a Hate Crime? If so, was it taken seriously by police?

Comments

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    Hi, today I got called a spastic by a bus passenger and the driver. The lanyards for face cover exception leave you vulnerable. Mine's a sensory defect. Do the police take this Hate Crime seriously. Has anyone else had trouble through revealing their disability? And any advice on how to get the driver sacked? It was an Arriva bus.
  • lisathomas50
    lisathomas50 Member Posts: 4,959 Disability Gamechanger
    It's hard to prove they will probably say they didn't say it but it's still worth putting the complaint into the bus company stating the day time and bus number a route 
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 8,234 Disability Gamechanger
    You need to report it in as much detail as possible to both the bus company and the police. Both will be largely dismissive so you will need to persist. 

    Certainly have someone with you when you go to the police. They are far more interested in hate crimes based on race that might blow up in their face than crimes against lone disabled people which have no consequences other than for the disabled person. A letter before action may assist as will some input from a solicitor interested in equality and public transport issues such as Leigh Day. 

    If you are active on social networks then now is the time to post about the incident in detail. Which company; which bus number; what time; which direction and ask for witnesses. 

    Just to reassure you I used LD against a bus company I cannot name. They consistently failed to lower the bus when I was trying to get on using a cane. I would often step off the kerb and into the road (missing the step onto the bus) or fall off the kerb as a consequence of this. Even the rare ones who lowered the bus for you to get on almost inevitably failed to lower it when you get off. If you take legal action  they will huff and puff but always offer to settle. I am a four figure settlement better off in consequence on the back of no more than a small number of letters. The bus company were warned that further incidents would produce further action and a bigger pay out. That will inevitably happen but the pandemic came along so I have effectively been on two buses in 22 months.


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    Many thanks Lisa and Mike. It's classed as a hate crime. The bus driver encouraged the passengers to humiliate me. Two women near the driver complied. One said she was going to "smash my face in". I called her bluff. So it turned into, "If my brother was here he'll grab her by her scrawny neck". The driver allowed insults at me but if I defended myself he started bellowing. 
    A kind gentleman from the back came down to the front; handed me my purse that was on the floor. The second troublemaking passenger said, he shouldn't have given it to me. Hideous people. 
    When I asked for the driver's number on alighting, he called me "old and ugly", I'm 32. The police are phoning tomorrow for a telephone statement. An operator took down the whole sad story on Saturday. The driver committed a hate crime, whilst the passenger he encouraged is faced with threatening assault.
    I phoned Scope this morning for a back up letter, on the presumption of my email to the CEO of Arriva. No was the answer. No support at all. What is Scope for? These charities make a lot of money and directors earn £40,000.
    Thank God we can support each other. Thank you again. I will update you all, just in case you're unfortunate enough to suffer the same depressing experience. Ps. Mike, I shall absorb your advice in fine detail. Many thanks for writing so extensively.

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    Ps. Hi, Lisa, the operator said the police (Thames Valley) will be getting the CCTV. Fortunately the driver was very expressive with his hands and they all had contorted faces, that usually accompany hatred. Why? Some individuals like to argue and win to feel superior. Pitiful. However, if they don't get the woman, unless the Police recognise her, I'll keep pushing until that driver is sacked. Thanks for your time. 
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 8,234 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 9
    I cannot imagine why you think Scope would offer support in this scenario. You need to complain as described and obtain legal support to pursue the matter further. 

    It’s important to be clear that abusing a disabled person is not by default a hate crime. Calling you a name associated with disability may also not automatically be a hate crime. It will really turn on the events surrounding the verbal abuse. Abusing a disabled person because they’re being a veritable pain in the **** may not be nice behaviour but it may also be understandable and not at all illegal. 

    We only have your partial version of events and are not in a position to judge. That’s what legal advice is for.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    edited January 9
    Excuse me. I wasn't a pain in the ****. And Scope could have written a supporting letter. I don't appreciate your dig. I had enough on Saturday. The police deemed it a hate crime. (Removed by a moderator for being a ersonal attack / comment towards another member)
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    And I've flagged your comment for the dig and contradicting the Police. Go to .......
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 5,716

    Scope community team

    Closed, pending moderator review.
    Online Community Coordinator

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  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 5,716

    Scope community team

    Hi @Abigail_Buchanan

    Firstly, welcome to the community and I'm sorry to hear about what you went through over the weekend, it sounds horrible and nobody should have to experience that. You are doing the correct thing in reporting the incident, and as mentioned previously on the thread seeking legal advice might be worthwhile, Citizens Advice have an information page here about finding legal help.

    Travelling on public transport should be a safe space for everybody, and what you went through sounds very intimidating, I hope you have support from friends and family members at this time and I'm glad to hear that the police have taken your concern and will be acting on it. 

    I also wanted to address the comment from @mikehughescq which has caused you upset. I can see why you would read that and perceive it to be calling your version of events into question, especially considering what you have been through lately and how it has impacted your well-being. But I think this is a misunderstanding, I'm sure that mike wasn't intending to upset you and was instead just writing how a situation could be perceived from a legal point of view. He presented a hypothetical scenario in which language used, while not being nice in the slightest, may not be considered a hate crime in law. I don't believe he was suggesting you were being a pain.

    Just to let you know, I have removed comments of yours from this discussion in line with our community house rules, as well as a portion of another of your comments, for being a personal attack towards another member. However as mentioned, I do understand why you might have felt as though your version of events was being called into question. 

    You do have our full support, and I hope you receive all the help you need to fight against what happened to you. I'm sorry that Scope wasn't able to provide assistance, but I hope that you have found some of the replies from community members helpful.

    I will be leaving this discussion closed but will be contacting you via email @Abigail_Buchanan, you are more than welcome to get back to us and have a chat. Also, I do hope to see you continue to be a part of the online community.
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