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Title: The perceptions and understanding of people with learning disabilites as offenders, victims and witnessess by the police in two London Boroughs
Author: Chin, John
ISNI:       0000 0001 3544 6465
Awarding Body: London South Bank University
Current Institution: London South Bank University
Date of Award: 2007
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Analysis of the literature has indicated that additional research is required to address the knowledge gap that exists in respect of how people with learning disabilities are regarded by the criminal justice system, particularly in view of the .fact that the social construction of learning disability leads many to ascribe negative labels and associations, which have throughout the ages resulted in the general discrimination of people with learning disabilities. This study therefore investigates and compares the perceptions and understanding of the police employed in two London boroughs towards people with learning disabilities as offenders, victims and witnesses. Three hundred questionnaires were distributed to each of two borough police forces. Respondents were invited to cite their responses on a Likert scale; responses were coded as a numerical value and were then subjected to the Chi Square Test via SPSS version 10. Significant associations with a number of these statements were found between the two cohort groups of respondents by geographical borough, but not by . gender and age. A case study method via semi-structured interviews and analysis of all transcripts was then used to triangulate the findings. The case study involved ten volunteers from each of the two police forces to enable an in depth 'study' to be undertaken to enable the respondents exploration of perceptions and understanding of people with learning disabilities. Analysis of both sets of results indicates that respondents/interviewees did not perceive people with learning disabilities negatively despite the various constructed 'negative' labels they used to describe learning disability. Rather, findings confinn that they lacked the insight into understanding of the concept of learning disability with the consequence that they were unable to identify a person who presents with a learning disability. This could have negative implications with the consequence that the special needs of people with learning disabilities would go unnoticed and be denied access to the special support that they require from professionals and family members within the criminal justice system. This area of neglect has in the past led to several miscarriages of justice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available