Autism - 832/16
Dated: 09 Aug 2016
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')
Thank you for your e mail dated 21 July 2016 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.
As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.
1: Does the force subscribe to the Two Tick scheme?
2: If the force subscribes to the Two Tick scheme, does the scheme apply to internal vacancies?
3: How many police officers in your force are known to have autism or Asperger syndrome?
4: What is the most senior rank within your force currently held by an officer known by the force to have autism or Asperger syndrome?
5: What autism/Asperger syndrome awareness training is provided for your officers and staff?
6: What reasonable adjustments does the force make to the promotion process for officers with autism or Asperger syndrome?
On 27th July you amended points 1 and 2 to read:
Question 1 - Does the force subscribe to either the Job Centre Plus 'Two Tick scheme or its replacement, the 'Disability Confident' scheme?
Question 2 - If the force subscribes to the Two Tick or Disability Confident schemes, does the scheme apply to internal vacancies?
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the HR Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.
I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.
1. Northumbria Police do not subscribe to the Two Tick Scheme.
3. Police Officers, Police Staff and volunteers will self-declare a disability within the electronic Human Resources system. Our data shows that no one within Northumbria Police has declared that they have autism or Asperger syndrome.
4. N/A - see above.
5. Northumbria Police continues to deliver training to frontline officers and custody staff to ensure we deliver the best level of service and care to perpetrators, victims and witnesses who we come into contact with following arrest or detention. Although this training does not relate specifically to Asperger Syndrome it does cover the wider topic of Mental Ill Health and Learning Disabilities.
Further to this generic training there is a 'Detention and Custody - Mental Ill Health and Learning Disabilities' procedure which is available to all officers and staff on the Northumbria Police intranet. This highlights the following:-
'Those carrying out the risk assessment for detainees experiencing mental ill health should consider whether there is any additional risk of short and longer-term harm. It is also important to identify specific areas which could adversely affect those who are vulnerable because of learning disabilities and difficulties. For example, people who have autism or Asperger’s syndrome can be highly sensitive to their environment, and loud noises or bright lights may in some cases cause distress and possibly even aggressive behaviour.
The risks that a detainee with mental ill health or learning disabilities may pose to themselves or others are individual to each case and cannot be generalised'.
6. Northumbria Police recognises that its officers, staff and volunteers are its greatest asset. Recruiting and selecting the right people is vital to ensure we develop a workforce which reflects the diverse communities we serve. With the right people we can continue to respond to, and develop, the trust of our communities. Within the Force, our overall aim is to ensure a fair and consistent recruitment and selection process which recognises individual merit and supports anti-discrimination legislation. Equality of opportunity is central to our process. The Force recognises the importance of upholding its legal obligation to ensure that no unlawful discrimination occurs within its recruitment and selection processes.
The Northumbria Police Disability Support Association are currently working with the national Police Autism Association with a view to introducing an Autism Support Group within Northumbria Police.
Additionally The National Police Autism Association provides support to officers and staff with Autism Spectrum disabilities and you may find useful information contained within that website. We have provided a link below
Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another. Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data. For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.
The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police. Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation. In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.