The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission has completed research into the experiences of people with disabilities reporting crime.
Launched by Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay on 21 July 2014, the report entitled Beyond doubt: the experiences of people with disabilities reporting crime is now available.
- Read Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay's speech
- Read Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kate Jenkins's speech
It documents the experiences of people with disabilities reporting crime and looks at both police practice and the upstream and downstream factors that affect reporting.
You can download the reports below or view online as PDF
This information is also available in Braille and large font. Please contact [email protected] if you would like this information in one of these formats.
This project was undertaken using the Commission’s research functions under section 157 of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010. It arose from concerns raised by the Commission’s Disability Reference Group that people with disabilities face particular barriers in seeking justice as victims of crime.
Equality considerations in policing are of particular concern to VEOHRC because:
- people with disabilities may be more likely to experience violent and sexual crime than other people
- barriers to reporting crime prevent victims from accessing other stages of the justice process
- crimes against victims with disabilities are less likely to be successfully prosecuted.
This engages the Equal Opportunity Act, the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006, and other human rights protected at domestic and international law.
This project tested the hypothesis that police services are not currently delivered on equal footing for people with disabilities who are victims of crime, compared to those without disability.
The Commission aimed to:
- explore what informs the initial contact between a person with disabilities and police when a crime is reported
- gain a better idea of the environments in which crimes against people with disabilities occur and how this affects the reporting process
- understand what is and isn’t working well through the entire process including reporting, police interviewing, investigations and prosecutions.
This included looking at the factors that might determine if a report is or is not made, including how the attitudes, experience and knowledge of police officers informs the interaction. VEOHRC also examined how interviewing and evidence gathering techniques, evidentiary requirements, disability, health and mental health service practices, court procedures and attitudes of the judiciary also affect police services.
The Commission conducted:
- 27 in-depth case study interviews
- 24 key informant interviews
- 13 focus groups (61 people took part in focus groups, including 24 police members)
- a confidential survey (63 respondents)
- a legislative and policy review, and
- analysed organisational submissions; data from the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Office of the Public Advocate and the Department of Justice Victims Support Agency.
For more information about this project please contact us at [email protected].