Bias harms access to justice, says charity

Police officers’ negative attitudes towards people with learning
difficulties are hampering their access to justice, according to
learning difficulty charity Voice UK.

Charity director Kathryn Stone said that, despite the introduction
of measures to help people with learning difficulties give
evidence, they were still being discriminated against by some
police officers.

Stone was addressing Speaking up for Justice, a conference
organised by Voice UK and the Crown Prosecution Service

She described how officers refused to give people with learning
difficulties details of the Crown Prosecution Service. “Another
favourite is for police officers to say ‘the CPS won’t do anything
with this’ before even asking them,” she said.

Peter Bagshaw, the Association of Chief of Police Officers of
England, Wales and Northern Ireland’s lead on mental health and
disability issues, said: “Much has changed in recent years.
However, a lot of work still needs to be done by all public
services to make things better.”

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