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Responding to the abuse of people with learning disabilities: the role of the police

Rachel Davies (School of Care Sciences, University of Glamorgan)
Ian Mansell (School of Care Sciences, University of Glamorgan)
Ruth Northway (School of Care Sciences, University of Glamorgan)
Robert Jenkins (School of Care Sciences, University of Glamorgan)

The Journal of Adult Protection

ISSN: 1466-8203

Article publication date: 1 May 2006

Abstract

The abuse of people with learning disabilities is a significant problem. The response of the police to abuse that is actually a criminal offence is paramount. This paper reports on a qualitative study into the attitudes and opinions of police officers involved in abuse investigations. The aims were to understand more about the perceptions that police have about their role, the contribution made by the police to the area and to identify good practice where it occurs. Semistructured interviews and focus groups were conducted with police officers regarding their experiences of involvement in vulnerable adult protection and views on the role of the police. Findings are presented according to key themes: structure for abuse work, joint investigator training, understanding the needs of people with learning disabilities, the legislative context for abuse work and sharing good practice and striving for a consistent response. Demand is growing for the police to respond to the abuse of people with learning disabilities in a way that is both appropriate and maximises the likelihood of victims receiving justice.

Keywords

Citation

Davies, R., Mansell, I., Northway, R. and Jenkins, R. (2006), "Responding to the abuse of people with learning disabilities: the role of the police", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 11-19. https://doi.org/10.1108/14668203200600003

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited