A critical appraisal of the engagement process between the police and adults with learning difficulties in South Wales

  • Amanda Milliner

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Community engagement, which can be difficult to define, is an imperative part of policing as an obligation has been placed upon the police, in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (Home Office, 2004), to engage all sections of the community in order to discover their particular needs and priorities. The process of engaging all members of the community can be difficult for the police, as some members are more difficult to reach than others. This study evaluates the process of community engagement between the police and adults with learning difficulties across South Wales. The findings provide a rich understanding of the engagement process and recognises the value and importance of good quality engagement to adults with learning difficulties and the professionals who support them on a daily basis.

    Adults with learning difficulties can face incidents of hate crime on a regular basis, with very few victims willing to approach the police in order to report such crimes and incidents.
    The research was undertaken in two stages, stage one participants included professional support workers, and stage two participants were adults who have learning difficulties. Findings indicated that the sample of adults with learning difficulties who participated in the study regularly suffer from a variety of hate crime and incidents on a daily basis, however opportunities for them to engage positively with the police were not evident throughout the entire research area. Pockets of good practice were discovered where individual police officers actively engage this section of the community. The findings also suggest that the majority of participants welcome engagement with the police and the opportunity to discuss their needs and opinions. The findings from the research informed the construction of an engagement model that can be used by the police and/or other agencies who wish to proactively identify and engage potentially vulnerable people.

    Issues such as the under-reporting of hate crime, recognising hate crime and the involvement of other agencies were also significant within this thesis.
    Date of AwardMay 2016
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorColin Rogers (Supervisor), James Gravelle (Supervisor) & Frederick Blakemore (Supervisor)


    • Community policing

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