Police officers’ experiences of autism: Existing good practice and challenges for investigative interviewing of people with autism in the UK

K L Maras, Laura Crane, Amina Memon

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

People with autism display a characteristic pattern of social communication impairments that may make them more vulnerable to encountering the Criminal Justice System (CJS) as a victim, witness or suspect. In the UK, there is no standard compulsory training for police officers on the characteristics of autism, how to adapt their practice to suit the needs of those with autism, or how best to interview them. The current research aimed to conduct a large survey of police officers across the UK about their experiences, practices and views of autism within the CJS. Data collection is still underway for this project, but already over 400 UK police officers have completed the survey. These officers (from Uniform and CID, of varying ranks, and from forces across the UK) provided information about their experience of encountering witness, victims and suspects with autism within the CJS. Questions probed the difficulties and challenges officers encounter in relation to obtaining written, oral and identification evidence from individuals with autism; existing interview practices they feel work well; the suitability of any training they already received; and what training they would like in the future to develop their skills. These findings will form the basis for key recommendations for UK police practice when encountering individuals with autism within the CJS.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2014
EventInternational Investigative Interviewing Research Group 7th Annual Conference - Switzerland, Lausanne, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Jun 20146 Jun 2014

Conference

ConferenceInternational Investigative Interviewing Research Group 7th Annual Conference
CountryUK United Kingdom
CityLausanne
Period4/06/146/06/14

Keywords

  • autism spectrum disorder
  • police
  • interviewing
  • criminal justice system

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    Maras, K. L., Crane, L., & Memon, A. (2014). Police officers’ experiences of autism: Existing good practice and challenges for investigative interviewing of people with autism in the UK. Paper presented at International Investigative Interviewing Research Group 7th Annual Conference, Lausanne, UK United Kingdom.