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Police contact with people with an intellectual disability: the Independent Third Person perspective

Spivak, B. L., Thomas, S. D,

Academic Literature

2013

A number of jurisdictions have instituted legislation requiring an independent person to be present during police interviews with vulnerable people. In Victoria, Australia, a group of volunteers known as Independent Third Persons help to fulfil this role with people who present with cognitive impairment arising from their mental illness or disability. This study sought to explore the perspectives of the Independent Third Person volunteers on police identification of and responses to people with intellectual disability (ID). Registered Independent Third Person volunteers across the State of Victoria in Australia completed a survey. Participants reported that despite being overly reliant on previous police contacts and cues relating to communication difficulties, they viewed police as generally competent in their ability to identify people with ID. They also considered themselves confident in performing their own roles at this interface.

Publication information

Journal/Publication : Journal of Intellectual Disability Research

Location : Australasia

Domain/s: Community and civic participation, Safety and security

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