Cyber-disability hate cases in the UK: the documentation by the police and potential barriers to reporting
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AbstractDisability hate crime is under-reported in the UK with perceived lim-ited support given to the victims. The use of online communication resulted in cyber-disability hate cases, recognised by the Police with the addition of an ‘online-flag’ in the documentation. However, the cases remain under-reported, with potential individual, societal and organisational barriers to reporting espe-cially during a pandemic. This paper aims to contextualise the reporting of cyber-disability hate cases, identify potential barriers, and provide recommendations to improve support to victims by the Police. The retrospective examination was car-ried out on disability-related cyber incidents documented by a police force in the UK for 19 months. Among 3,349 cyber-crimes, 23 cases were included. The anal-ysis covered descriptive statistics and qualitative document analysis (QDA). Only 0.7% of cyber incidents or 6.7% of cyber-hate incidents were disability re-lated. The age of victims ranged between 15 and 61 years, with a mean of 25.8 years. Most of the victims (78%) were from White ethnic background, and the majority were females (61.5%). Three overarching themes emerged from the qualitative data as influencers of reporting or documentation, these were: psy-chological impact, fear for safety, and the type of disability. Cyber-offences re-sulted in a serious impact on wellbeing, however, cases that included people with visible disabilities were more documented. Further awareness-raising targeting the police and public is needed to understand the impact of cyber-offences and recognise the different types of disabilities, which might encourage both report-ing and documentation.
CitationAlhaboby, Z.A., Al-Khateeb, H.M., Barnes, J., Jahankhani, H., Pitchford, M., Conradie, L. and Short, E. (2021) Cyber-disability hate cases in the UK: the documentation by the police and potential barriers to reporting, in Cybersecurity, Privacy and Freedom Protection in the Connected World: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Global Security, Safety and Sustainability, London, January 2021, Hamid JahankhaniArshad JamalShaun Lawson (eds,), Springer: Cham, pp.123-133
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article due to be published by Springer in Advanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications on 21 May 2021. The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
Series/Report no.Advanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications
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