POLICE across Worcestershire have signed up to the ‘Stand By Me’ promise to show their commitment to ending hate crime against people with learning disabilities.

The promise was the idea of Mencap, and calls on police services to help people with a learning disability live their lives free of fear.

The promise, which comes in the form of a charter, has nine points for police to be aware of, including tackling hate crime on public transport, encouraging community engagement, and improving third party reporting of hate crimes.

Assistant chief constable for West Mercia Police, Gareth Morgan, said: "As a consequence of our wide programme of work, we now believe that it is the right time to formally commit and sign the ‘Stand By Me' promise.

"We greatly value the support received from local Mencap groups; working together to establish the ‘Safe Places' scheme, which allows vulnerable people who feel threatened while out in the community to access support from local shops, and we continue to work with Mencap to improve how we can communicate with vulnerable community members.

"Signing this pledge is a symbol of our partnership and we hope this will go some way to improve the confidence people with learning disabilities have in their local police force, while ensuring our service better meets their needs and expectations."

Tony Johnson from Mencap's regional campaigns department, added: “Many police services are doing good work, and their response is getting better. Other services are still failing to support victims of disability hate crime.

"Through the ‘Stand By Me' campaign, we want to make sure that all police services are following the example set by the best services."