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Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 6/2016

09-02-2016 | Original Paper

Experiences of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Policing in England and Wales: Surveying Police and the Autism Community

Auteurs: Laura Crane, Katie L. Maras, Tamsyn Hawken, Sue Mulcahy, Amina Memon

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders | Uitgave 6/2016

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Abstract

An online survey gathered the experiences and views of 394 police officers (from England and Wales) regarding autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Just 42 % of officers were satisfied with how they had worked with individuals with ASD and reasons for this varied. Although officers acknowledged the need for adjustments, organisational/time constraints were cited as barriers. Whilst 37 % of officers had received training on ASD, a need for training tailored to policing roles (e.g., frontline officers, detectives) was identified. Police responses are discussed with respect to the experiences of the ASD community (31 adults with ASD, 49 parents), who were largely dissatisfied with their experience of the police and echoed the need for police training on ASD.
Voetnoten
1
The UK government comprises England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland; however, for this study, only England and Wales are considered as they share the relevant legal framework.
 
2
Note: The ASD community surveys asked about experiences of the CJS (from initial encounters with police through to experiences during a court case, if appropriate). All respondents completed the section about their views and experiences of the police (reported in this paper), but those respondents whose cases progressed to court were asked to complete further questions about these experiences. The latter data is not reported in this paper, but is available by contacting the authors. Note that scores regarding ‘overall satisfaction with the CJS’ (on page 14) may or may not include the respondents’ views on the court process.
 
3
We use the term “ASD community” to refer collectively to adults with autism (Adults) and parents/carers of children and adults with autism (Parent/carer).
 
4
Note that these data are presented to provide an insight into the experiences (in terms of types of crime and whether the individual was a victim, witness or suspect) of the police officers who took part in this survey; it is not intended to provide prevalence data regarding ASD and engagement with the police.
 
5
The discrepancy in the reported provision rates of AAs between police and ASD community responses may be due to unclear phrasing of the question and a lack of awareness by the ASD community that AAs are only provided for suspects and not victims/witnesses and that there is a distinction between ‘Supporter’, ‘Appropriate Adult’ and ‘Intermediary’ roles. Thus encounters as a victim/witness may have been included in responses, lowering provision rates. Due to the structuring of the questionnaire it is not possible to disentangle this issue further.
 
6
Note that the survey did not specifically ask whether people with autism not identify themselves if they were asked directly (as the police may do with those they believe may be ‘vulnerable’) or would they not volunteer this information.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Experiences of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Policing in England and Wales: Surveying Police and the Autism Community
Auteurs
Laura Crane
Katie L. Maras
Tamsyn Hawken
Sue Mulcahy
Amina Memon
Publicatiedatum
09-02-2016
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders / Uitgave 6/2016
Print ISSN: 0162-3257
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-3432
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-016-2729-1