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Autism

Volume 711: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government which constabularies include formal modules on autism or autism awareness in their police recruitment training course; and, of those that provide such training, what training they provide. [HL3714]

Both the Initial Police Learning and Development Programme (IPLDP) and the Police Community Support Officer learning programme contain modules relating to dealing with persons with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs). Both programmes also cover individuals with learning difficulties, which would apply to those with ASDs. All police forces in England and Wales, including the British Transport Police, are required to demonstrate that they meet all the learning outcomes of IPLDP.

A list of modules which are taken by all police officers as part of IPLDP are given in the attached table. The modules listed have a specific focus on vulnerable persons with a disability or learning difficulties. However, promoting equality, dealing with people in a fair and ethical manner and recognising and responding to the needs of individuals in respect of race and diversity is a theme that is evident throughout IPLDP. This includes having due regard to the Disability Discrimination Act and the Human Rights Act at all times in every situation and interaction. It is expected that during the delivery of training in any subject area, the trainer will make links to develop learning in this area at every opportunity where appropriate.

IPLDP Module

Overview

IND 06—assess the needs of individuals and provide advice and support

Includes a section on identifying vulnerable witnesses

IND10—using police actions in a fair and justified way

Covers communication skills and specifically mentions ASD as a condition that could affect communication

OP6a—interviewing victims and witnesses

Highlights the potential for communication difficulties and misunderstanding with ASD

Op6b—interviewing suspects

Covers dealing with vulnerable people, whether they are a victim, witness or suspect and the need to treat vulnerable people with particular consideration at all times

OP9—prepare and present case information, present evidence and finalise investigations

Features a section on witnesses with learning difficulties and deals with how witnesses with learning difficulties may find the criminal justice process especially stressful, and on occasion, traumatic

LPG 1.3.7—victims and witnesses

Looks at the code of practice for the victims of crime and specifically deals with vulnerable and intimidated witnesses

LPG 1.3.18—strategies for dealing with persons suffering from mental disorder

Includes identifying people with learning difficulties and court appearances for people with learning difficulties

LPG 1.3.19—mental health

Covers dealing with and interviewing people with learning difficulties and mental disorders. it looks at communication and memory difficulties and responses to perceived aggression

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 30 April (WA 57), what procedures are in place in Essex for educationalists making, confirming or overturning a diagnosis of autism. [HL3815]