Access to justice for children with autism spectrum disorders

Lead Research Organisation: London South Bank University
Department Name: Fac of Arts and Human Sciences

Abstract

Evidence collected from eyewitnesses is crucial for the success of a criminal investigation. Information from witnesses governs the initial direction of an investigation (providing lines of enquiry and identifying possible suspects), and the strength of evidence has been associated with guilty suspects confessing to their crimes. However, little is known about the capabilities of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) when providing witness information. Given their vulnerabilities in terms of cognitive, social and emotional difficulties, these children are at high risk of victimisation, violence and abuse. Therefore, fair and appropriate access to justice for children with ASD is an issue of paramount importance.

The population of children and adults with ASD is very large, with prevalence rates of approximately one in 100 (Baird et al., 2006). We already know that individuals with ASD display a characteristic pattern of memory difficulties (e.g., having trouble recalling personally experienced events and recognising faces) and social communication impairments (e.g., lack of eye contact and problems with holding conversations) that call into question their abilities as criminal witnesses. Yet the few studies that have been conducted on this topic have shown that, although individuals with ASD recall less information about a witnessed event than typical groups, the information that they do provide can be just as accurate.

Even less is known about the strengths and weaknesses of individuals with ASD across all the different stages of a criminal investigation. During the proposed research, several novel questions will be addressed: How does this group fare throughout the investigative process (e.g., during initial questioning, in an investigative interview, when identifying perpetrators, and during cross-examination)? What can be done to improve the amount of information that children with ASD recall, without a subsequent decrease in the accuracy of this information? How do the general public (who may be evaluating the evidence of individuals with ASD within a jury) perceive witnesses with ASD? And what factors (e.g., mood state, anxiety, suggestibility, basic memory abilities) are associated with the performance of children with ASD in a witness context?

This research will represent the first in depth investigation of witness characteristics in children with ASD and will fill an important gap in our knowledge of this disorder. The work will address the need for basic theoretical research to increase our understanding of the cognitive strengths and weaknesses of children with ASD, but it will also provide answers to an important and pressing real-world issue - how do we ensure that children with ASD obtain fair and appropriate access to justice? The project has been designed to impact directly on policy by providing a basis for the development of guidelines and interventions to improve the performance of children with ASD in the Criminal Justice System (in collaboration with the National Autistic Society, UK).

Planned Impact

The proposed research will bring together theory and practice concerning access to justice for children with ASD, whilst at all times adopting an approach of high-level user engagement.

ASD affects 1 in 100 individuals (Baird, et al., 2006) and has an estimated cost to the UK economy of over 28 billion pounds a year (Knapp, Romeo, & Beecham, 2009). Research aimed at reducing the difficulties experienced by this group is therefore a major public policy issue and could have a significant impact on reducing the economic burden of the disorder.

The findings of the proposed research will be disseminated to a wide audience, including academics and researchers, criminal justice professionals (e.g., police officers, barristers, intermediaries), clinicians, and parents/carers of children with ASD. This will be achieved through a range of activities, including the publication of academic and non-academic research papers, presenting the work at academic and practitioner/user conferences, and hosting seminars for academics and practitioners/users. Of particular note, we will collaborate with the National Autistic Society to develop evidence-based guidelines on 'Access to justice in children with ASD' for criminal justice professionals. These important guidelines will be widely advertised (e.g., by disseminating the guidelines to professional organisations, and hosting the recommendations on the National Autistic Society website). We will actively seek input, advice and guidance on the findings of the project (as well as the associated guidelines and resources that we seek to produce) from relevant user groups. Adopting a dialectic approach, we aim to incorporate feedback and advice concerning aspects of the project into our non-academic and academic outputs. We envisage the results and guidelines will be widely cited within professional practice, as well as being of interest to academics conducting further work in this area.

An important sustainable resource to be developed from this project will be a website dedicated to access to justice in children with ASD. This will host information for user groups and academics, and will include a range of resources developed as part of the project (e.g., best practice guidelines for witnesses with ASD, information on memory for events in ASD, publications arising from the project). Details about the project and associated outcomes will also be presented on the website of the National Autistic Society and other ASD websites, to reach a larger, more targeted audience.

We envisage that there will be significant media interest in this research, given recent high profile cases of individuals with ASD in legal settings (e.g., Gary McKinnon). We will therefore work with ESRC to prepare press releases concerning relevant aspects of the research that showcase the key findings and their impact on society.

This work will also have an impact on future research on access to justice, by providing a framework by which to explore this topic in individuals with intellectual disabilities and/or other neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., Down syndrome).

In summary, our impact work will involve a wide range of activities that will be relevant to a range of academic and non-academic groups.

Publications

10 25 50

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
ES/J020893/1 14/01/2013 15/09/2013 £376,525
ES/J020893/2 Transfer ES/J020893/1 16/09/2013 13/07/2016 £294,084
 
Description Significant new knowledge was gained in relation to 'Registered Intermediaries' (RIs), communication specialists who can assist vulnerable witnesses (including autistic and non-autistic children) within the justice system in England and Wales.

Our findings. In the first empirical investigation of its kind, 6- to 11-year-old children (71 with autism, 201 who were typically developing, all with IQs over 69) viewed a staged event and subsequently took part in all stages of a criminal investigation: investigative interviews; identification line-ups; and cross-examination. For typical children, assistance from an RI (compared to best-practice police interviews) nearly doubled the amount of information recalled about the event (without increasing errors). RI support also improved children's ability to identify the 'perpetrators' during video line-ups and to resist challenges during cross-examination. For children with autism, beneficial effects of RI assistance were not observed on volume of recall. However, encouragingly, the performance of autistic children was equivalent to typical children (i.e., no better or worse) when both groups were assessed with alternative investigative interview techniques (best-practice police interviews, interviews with additional verbal prompts, interviews using a drawing technique to support recall). Further, when neither group was aided by an RI, autistic children did not make more errors than typical children at interview, were as good at identifying the two 'perpetrators' in line-ups, and were as resistant to cross-examination challenges (although all children were very vulnerable at cross-examination). These findings suggested that autistic child witnesses can often be as reliable as typical children of comparable age and ability.

We also determined, from a range of standardised cognitive assessments (attention, memory, language, intelligence), the best predictors of interview performance. For both typical children and those with autism, age and memory ability were related to the amount recalled during a brief interview.

In three further studies, 'mock' jurors (260 jury eligible adults in total) rated the credibility of selected children's interviews/cross examinations. The presence of an RI did not reduce credibility ratings for typical children; we additionally found that information given to juries about children with autism should be tailored specifically to the individual witness (i.e., providing generic information about autism was less helpful).

Novel approaches. For cross-examination, a novel approach was developed arising from a new collaboration with an experienced barrister. Previous research used scripted questions (usually presented by research assistants) whereas we: (1) used qualified, experienced barristers; (2) developed a 'defence statement' protocol from which barristers cross-examined the children in a more realistic manner; and (3) used video conferencing facilities to replicate the 'live link' used in courtrooms.

New directions. We were unable to test the full role that RIs play, as we focused on the preparation/implementation of the investigative interview, identification line-up and cross-examination. In actual criminal investigations, the RI role is wider and encompasses many issues, including whether a child can give evidence at all, particularly in traumatic circumstances. Further work should systematically evaluate other aspects of the RI role for child witnesses with autism, providing a more holistic assessment of their efficacy.
Exploitation Route Academics can pursue whether other aspects of the Registered Intermediary role may help children with autism and typical children to perform better in interviews, identification line-ups and cross-examinations.

Police officers, barristers, judges and Registered Intermediaries can take forward the message that Registered Intermediaries are extremely beneficial for typical children across all stages of the criminal justice process: in interviews, identification line-ups and cross-examinations. This is particularly important as there has been some resistance to the use of Registered Intermediaries for typical children. A further message for these professionals is that children with autism (with IQs over 69) can cope well with the cognitive aspects of criminal justice procedures, but that age and memory abilities are important factors to keep in mind when assessing suitability. Whilst Registered Intermediaries may not have had a beneficial effect on the volume or accuracy of the material recalled by children with autism, they are still likely to be needed for these children, so that they can cope with giving evidence successfully in formal and unfamiliar police or court contexts, which most children with autism find highly anxiety-provoking.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Government, Democracy and Justice,Other

URL http://www.childwitnesses.com
 
Description Our project has contributed to societal and economic impact in several important ways: improving awareness and understanding of how autistic children cope with criminal investigations, and how best to support them; as well as instigating a comprehensive and wide-ranging programme of dissemination and awareness-raising activities aimed at criminal justice system (CJS) professionals. Of particular note, we have produced evidence-informed guidelines on autism and policing for the National Autistic Society, and two 'toolkits' for The Advocate's Gateway, describing best practice for legal professionals when working with autistic people. Our targeted approach has ensured that we have engaged with: • Six UK police forces/services, including The Metropolitan Police Service, via several awareness raising training events and discussions with relevant officers. The research has led to changes in police procedures being trialled (e.g., adaptations to Metropolitan Police Identity Parades). Further, we have ensured that copies of our published research papers are held at the National Police Library Catalogue. • The professional body in England and Wales for Registered Intermediaries (Intermediaries for Justice) via presentations / discussions at their annual conferences, jointly organising their continuing professional development conferences, and speaking at other targeted events that they are involved with. This has generated considerable interest, comment and discussion online. A team of four Registered Intermediaries was involved at every stage of the project, contributing to all relevant study protocols and the design of our interview intervention. Two of these intermediaries also took part directly in delivering the intervention, maximising the validity and impact of the research. • Barristers, solicitors and judges from the UK and internationally via the development of two 'toolkits' on interviewing individuals with autism (downloaded over 2500 times since publication) and presentations at the Inns of Court College of Advocacy (ICCA) 'International Conference on Vulnerable Witnesses' and other workshops at the Law Society (e.g., legal and other professionals involved in Family Law). • The National Autistic Society (NAS), a major autism charity, via presentations/posters at the ESRC Festival of Science, the NAS Conference for criminal justice professionals, and a Ministry of Justice event on Autism and Policing. Working with other relevant academics (with expertise in autistic adults), we wrote new NAS evidence-based guidelines on autism and policing (2017). These guidelines were published in April 2017 by the NAS and distributed to police forces widely across the UK, with 3,209 views as of February 2019. The guidelines were added to the College of Policing's Authorised Professional Practice on mental health, have been promoted by the National Police Autism Association (who circulated them to UK police forces/services), and have been very positively received by the UK police community. • Practitioners in forensic and investigative psychology via paper presentations and organised symposia at national and international conferences attended by these professionals. These have led to discussion and sharing of ideas to promote evidence-informed best practice regarding access to justice for children and adults with autism. Working collaboratively with CJS practitioners, we have encouraged them to think about the different ways they can support vulnerable witnesses (including autistic and non-autistic children). Our work has highlighted how CJS professionals should not have preconceptions about how well children can perform in the CJS (especially those with additional vulnerabilities such as autism), and has challenged commonly held doubts about their competencies. Our results suggest that with appropriate support, autistic children can give evidence that is broadly age-appropriate, contributing to a small but developing evidence base. Our research has also increased confidence in the value of using Registered Intermediaries. Intermediaries - trained professionals who facilitate communication between vulnerable witnesses and members of the justice system - represent a key development in the CJS to support vulnerable witnesses. Although the intermediary role was already developed prior to the start of this project, there was no pre-existing empirical evidence supporting the use of intermediaries. Our findings provide this evidence and, in so-doing, demonstrate the value and impact of using intermediaries within the CJS. This has been promoted through our collaborations with Intermediaries for Justice and in work to develop the profession further via new continuing professional development training. We have developed an attractive and comprehensive website about our project (www.childwitnesses.com), and are including lay summaries of our research papers so that the findings are easily accessible for everyone. We have also been in contact with all participating schools, parents, autism charities, and support groups - to inform them of the results in lay terms using an engaging, high-quality newsletter, to highlight the implications of our findings. The contribution of these various groups has been highly valued throughout the project and, indeed, one parent who is also a barrister was instrumental in developing the study protocols. In summary, key impacts from this project include the development of guidelines/toolkits for police and other legal professionals, training for criminal justice professionals, and an attractive website and an engaging newsletter (providing summaries of the work and further resources for the public). In recognition of this body of work, we were finalists for the City, University of London Research Project of the Year 2017. We are currently considering future work to investigate the role of intermediaries for children with autism in more depth. This work has grown out of a demonstrable need to provide an evidence base for ways to support some of the most vulnerable witnesses in society, including young children (with and without an autism diagnosis). In providing this, it increases their quality of life, and reinforces their rights to interface with the legal system as witnesses and suspects in the best way possible to achieve fair access to justice.
Sector Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Evidence-based guidelines on autism for police officers
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Working with the UK's leading autism charity (National Autistic Society, NAS) and the Metropolitan Police Service, our research team produced updated evidence-based guidelines for police officers on how to deal with witnesses and suspects with autism. The National Autistic Society's new national guidance on autism and policing is entitled: 'Autism: A Guide for Police Officers and Staff'. These guidelines were published in April 2017 by the NAS and distributed to police forces widely across the UK, with 3,209 views as of February 2019. The guidelines were also added to the College of Policing's Authorised Professional Practice on mental health, have been promoted by the National Police Autism Association (who circulated them to UK police forces/services), and have been very positively received by the UK police community. Access to justice for people with autism is improved by making police officers more aware of how to deal sensitively with witnesses and suspects with autism.
URL http://www.autism.org.uk/products/core-nas-publications/autism-a-guide-for-criminal-justice-professi...
 
Description Higher Education Impact Fund - City, University of London competition in the School of Health Sciences
Amount £5,146 (GBP)
Organisation City, University of London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2018 
End 07/2018
 
Description Higher Education Impact Fund - City, University of London competition in the School of Health Sciences
Amount £2,586 (GBP)
Organisation City, University of London 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2019 
End 07/2019
 
Description Academic collaboration - University of Bath 
Organisation University of Bath
Department Department of Psychology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are working with our colleague, Dr Katie Maras, to understand how well children and adults on the autism spectrum can recollect witnessed events, investigate the types of interventions that are suitable / effective, and explore how jurors perceive autistic witnesses. Dr Maras' work takes the adult perspective, and we are looking at this from the child perspective. We are also working together to raise awareness of general issues around autism and policing. For example, we have collaborated on a series of surveys exploring perspectives on autism within the criminal justice system (two of which have now been published in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders) and research on juror perceptions. Dr Maras held an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, and now a Future Research Leaders Grant, on adult eyewitness memory in Autism Spectrum Disorder, complementing our child witness work on the current ESRC-funded project.
Collaborator Contribution Together, we have devised, implemented, analysed and written up relevant research; contributed to jointly authored guidelines (e.g. National Autistic Society 'Autism: A Guide for Police Officers and Staff'; The Advocate's Gateway toolkits on autism) and publications (e.g., Crane et al., 2016; Crane et al., 2018; Maras et al., 2017), and worked together to raise awareness of issues around autism and criminal justice (e.g., Dr Maras presented at our autism and awareness events for police officers). Dr Maras also presented her research at the symposium we organised at the British Psychological Society Division of Forensic Psychology Annual Conference ('Perspectives on autism spectrum disorder in the criminal justice system').
Impact Survey study on the police and autism community to gauge perspectives on autism and policing. This paper has been published in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders and received extensive media coverage following an article in The Observer on Feb 20th 2016 (e.g. interview for BBC Bristol). City, University of London and the University of Bath put out press releases (see https://www.city.ac.uk/news/2016/feb/train-police-to-adapt-to-autism,-urge-researchers). Paper on autism in the courtroom published in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Article on jointly written with our team for Network Autism on 'Police interviewing of witnesses and defendants with autism: What is best practice?' (see http://network.autism.org.uk/knowledge/insight-opinion/police-interviewing-witnesses-and-defendants-autism-what-best-practice) Book chapter on memory (autobiographical and eyewitness) in autism - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/9781119158431 Worked together on developing and writing the Advocacy Training Council's 'Toolkit' for witnesses with autism. http://www.theadvocatesgateway.org/images/toolkits/15witnessesanddefendantswithautismmemoryandsensoryissues060315.pdf AND http://www.theadvocatesgateway.org/images/toolkits/3-planning-to-question-someone-with-an-autism-spectrum-disorder-including-asperger-syndrome-2016.pdf. Joint research/conference publications: Crane, L., Wilcock, R., Maras, K., Chui, W., Marti-Sanchez, C. & Henry, L.A. (2018). Mock juror perceptions of child witnesses on the autism spectrum: The impact of providing diagnostic labels and information about autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-018-3700-0 Henry, L.A., Crane, L., Wilcock, R., Maras, K., Chui, W. & Marti-Sanchez, C. (2018). Mock juror perceptions of child witnesses on the autism spectrum. Paper presented at the Symposium: Eyewitness memory in autism spectrum disorder - Strategies to improve accuracy and perceived accuracy, American Psychological Association Annual Convention, San Francisco, CA, USA, August 9-12th 2018. Invited (to jointly run) seminars for police at the National Autistic Society autism and the Criminal Justice System conference on April 18th 2016. Took part in a podcast for Pod Academy on autism and policing: http://podacademy.org/podcasts/autism/
Start Year 2012
 
Description Collaboration with Registered Intermediaries 
Organisation Intermediaries for Justice
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We have worked with Intermediaries for Justice from the outset of planning and designing this research project, and have contributed to their professional organisation ever since. For example, we were invited to deliver a joint presentation at the second annual Intermediaries for Justice Professional Development Conference (March, 2016), talking about the findings of our project and the practical implications of these in relation to children with autism. We jointly organised and hosted the Intermediaries for Justice annual Professional Development Conference entitled 'Understanding the many faces of abuse in order to enable effective participation in the justice system' on 5th May 2017 at City, University of London and at this conference we gave a keynote speech about the research findings. We jointly organised the 2018 Intermediaries for Justice annual Professional Development Conference, entitled 'Vulnerability and Justice' (held on May 9th 2018 at City) and again highlighted our research findings. The 2019 intermediaries for Justice annual Professional Development Conference will again be jointly organised and hosted by us and Intermediaries for Justice - and held at City - during the Autumn of 2019. Our research team have had a substantial impact on further developing Registered Intermediaries as a profession through these conferences and related work to develop bespoke training.
Collaborator Contribution The Chair of Intermediaries for Justice was involved in designing and implementing our project from the outset, and was involved in discussions about the proposal before we submitted the grant. Together with a panel of colleagues, the Chair developed all of the intermediary protocols used in our research, and was integral to the success of our study. She and several other intermediaries formed an intermediary advisory group for the life of the project to advise and implement all phases of the research. The Chair and one other colleague also administered the intermediary intervention in our study, which was relevant to all phases of the research (investigative interviews, identification line-ups and cross-examinations). Our intermediary colleagues also made a substantial and highly valued contribution to the police awareness events that we organised for the Metropolitan Police Service and other national police forces. They also contributed to all conference papers we have given about the project, and have been closely involved in writing up all of our publications. Our intermediary colleagues have invited us to co-host and organize their annual professional development conference every year since 2017, and at each of these conferences we have delivered keynote addresses or workshops about the study findings. We have obtained internal Higher Education Impact Fund to support these activities and improve their reach via (1) the provision of free places at the conference for police officers, advocates, registered intermediaries and students; and (2) the provision of high-quality posters and flyers, as well as full copies of open access publications to date, outlining the key findings of our research. We continue to work with the Chair of Intermediaries for Justice and her colleagues to develop new avenues of research into the role of intermediaries in the justice system which have arisen from our project, and to explore innovative ways of delivering bespoke training and continuing professional development (e.g. short courses) to Registered Intermediaries across the UK.
Impact Several conference presentations to date. Joint conferences organised (2017, 2018, 2019). Several academic papers published, under revision or in preparation.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Collaboration with The Advocate's Gateway 
Organisation Advocate's Gateway
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Our team has written a new toolkit for The Advocate's Gateway (TAG), entitled 'Witnesses and Defendants with Autism: Memory and Sensory Issues' (published in April 2015). This was in collaboration with a working group of legal professionals (judges, barristers, police officers, intermediaries), with Dr Crane acting as co-chair of this group. We also contributed to the re-write of an existing toolkit, entitled 'Planning to Question Someone with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, including Asperger Syndrome' (published in December 2016). We also spoke at The Advocate's Gateway International Conference on Access to Justice for Vulnerable People (June 2017), giving a full overview of the study findings and discussing their important implications for practice.
Collaborator Contribution The Chair of TAG invited us to co-chair and co-author a new toolkit on autism, and contribute to the rewrite of an existing toolkit, and to submit a paper for their biennial conference.
Impact Two TAG toolkits on best practice for interviewing individuals with autism were produced/revised. Toolkit 15: 'Witnesses and Defendants with Autism: Memory and Sensory Issues'. Downloads of this toolkit from its publication date in April 2015 to March 1st 2018 = 902. Toolkit 3: 'Planning to Question Someone with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, including Asperger Syndrome'. Downloads of the original toolkit between March 2016 and December 5th 2016 = 635; Downloads of the revised toolkit (that we contributed to) from its date of publication December 5th 2016 to March 13th 2017 = 1,810. We also presented at the biennial (multi-disciplinary - psychology and law) international conference of The Advocate's Gateway: Henry, L.A., Crane, L. & Wilcock, R. (2017). Access to justice for children on the autism spectrum, presented. Paper presented in the 'Autism and communication' session at The Advocate's Gateway (TAG) International Conference 2017, Law Society, London, June 2-3rd, 2017.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Collaboration with the Metropolitan Police 
Organisation Metropolitan Police Service
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We worked with partners at the Metropolitan Police throughout this grant - from writing the study protocol to disseminating the findings. We invited specialist police officers to help us develop the study protocol, to aid us in training our research fellows in police interviewing, to produce identification line-ups and to assist with dissemimation and awareness raising. These collaborations are described in more detail below and in the following section. Recognising the significance of our research findings for police practice, we contacted the Head of Investigative Training at the Metropolitan Police Service to jointly deliver two separate awareness raising impact events designed specifically for police officers (for the Metropolitan Police Service and five other national police forces). These events were focused on raising awareness about autism as a condition, how to interview individuals with autism, and the role that Registered Intermediaries can play in assisting with police interviews and other phases of a criminal investigation. Experts on autism (with lived and professional experience), police officers with specialist knowledge of how to interview witnesses/suspects with autism, and a team of experienced, practicing Registered Intermediaries gave lectures and workshops to large audiences of police officers. We are currently organising a third awareness raising event (at City on 25th April 2019) along the same lines to expand the reach of this training to another large tranche of serving police officers from the Met (target audience = 250). We also invited our contacts from this department to work with us to develop new National Autistic Society guidelines for interviewing individuals with autism ('Autism: a guide for police officers and staff', 2017).
Collaborator Contribution From the outset, we have worked with Metropolitan Police colleagues to design and implement this research study. Detective Constable Mark Crane from the Metropolitan Police advised on the procedure for our 'mock' criminal investigation, which formed the basis of our study protocol. This invaluable input was fed into the preparation and writing of the grant proposal in order to make the procedure as realistic and relevant as possible. At the beginning of the grant, our partners in the Metropolitan Police Service organised for three members of our research team to attend Investigative Interviewing training at one of their police training centres in 2013. Further, Superintendent John Armstrong from the Metropolitan Police produced highly realistic identification parades for us to use in the research, prior to the data collection phase. Our partners at the Metropolitan Police [led by Detective Inspector Trevor Borley] helped us design and run three large-scale awareness raising impact events on autism and policing (2015, 2016, forthcoming in 2019). They undertook the advertising and registration process for these events and ensured that the widest possible range of officers from different commands were in attendance (total number of officers attending across the two events held so far was about 250, target number of officers attending the 2019 event is 250). One of our key impact outcomes was to help revise the existing National Autistic Society guide ('Autism: a guide for criminal justice professionals'). We did this in collaboration with our partners at the Metropolitan Police Service, co-writing the new guide with the National Autistic Society ('Autism: A guide for police officers and staff). Our colleagues at the Metropolitan Police highlighted what worked well for them in the previous guide and what required improvement. They also commented on drafts of the final document and liaised with us to ensure the widest possible dissemination of the final version of the guide within the Metropolitan Police Service. These guidelines were published in April 2017 by the NAS and distributed to police forces widely across the UK, with 3,209 views as of February 2019. The guidelines were added to the College of Policing's Authorised Professional Practice on mental health, have been promoted by the National Police Autism Association (who circulated them to UK police forces/services), and have been very positively received by the UK police community.
Impact Three large-scale awareness raising impact events on autism and policing (2015, 2016 and forthcoming in 2019) - these events were specifically designed for police officers in order to raise awareness about: autism; how to interview those with autism; and how to use Registered Intermediaries to assist with investigations. Immediately following the second event, one attending delegate was nominated as the Islington Police lead on autism. The new National Autistic Society guidelines on autism and policing (published in April 2017).
Start Year 2012
 
Description Collaboration with the National Autistic Society 
Organisation National Autistic Society
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We delivered a talk at the National Autistic Society conference on Autism and Criminal Justice (September 2015, Manchester) to an audience of justice professionals. We have led the re-write of the National Autistic Society guidelines on autism and policing, published in 2017 ('Autism: A Guide for Police Officers and Staff'). We have presented at a National Autistic Society event on autism and criminal justice (November 2016, London). We have presented at an event organised by the National Autistic Society with the Ministry of Justice and Department of Health (February 2017, London).
Collaborator Contribution Our colleagues at the National Autistic Society assisted with the recruitment of schools for our research study. They invited us to present our research findings at three events on autism and the justice system, as well as asking us to lead on the rewrite of their guide for justice professionals, now entitled: 'Autism: A Guide for Police Officers and Staff'.
Impact Talks at three conference events. Publication of an autism guide for police officers ('Autism: A Guide for Police Officers and Staff'. These guidelines were published in April 2017 by the NAS and distributed to police forces widely across the UK, with 3,209 views as of February 2019. The guidelines were added to the College of Policing's Authorised Professional Practice on mental health, have been promoted by the National Police Autism Association (who circulated them to UK police forces/services), and have been very positively received by the UK police community.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Co-hosted the Third Annual Professional Development Conference with Intermediaries for Justice (held at City, University of London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Arising from our close, pre-existing collaboration with Intermediaries for Justice (the professional body for Registered Intermediaries who work in the Justice Systems of England, Wales and Northern Ireland), we co-hosted and organised their third full day Annual Professional Development Conference at City, University of London, entitled 'Understanding the many faces of abuse in order to enable effective participation in the justice system' (May 5th 2017). A diverse range of delegates attended, including professionals from the justice, healthcare, charitable and academic sectors. As well as hearing from all of these professionals, we presented a keynote talk highlighting the key findings from our study and their implications for Registered Intermediaries in the criminal justice system. We also contributed to a workshop where we demonstrated how these findings can be put into practice.

The feedback from the delegates (particularly the intermediaries) was overwhelmingly positive, and was followed-up by several emails specifically commenting on how valuable they found the research. We also received an email from Dame Joyce Plotnikoff (author of 'Intermediaries in the Criminal Justice System' and co-founder of The Advocate's Gateway) who said: "I wish to commend this ground-breaking research. It provides the first empirical evidence demonstrating the benefits of intermediary involvement in the forensic interview of typically developing of children aged between 6 and 11. This has important implications for practice in this country and other jurisdictions with an interest in the intermediary special measure".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.city.ac.uk/events/2017/may/intermediaries-for-justice-conference-2017
 
Description ESRC Festival of Social Science police training event - Hilton Bath Spa Nov 4th 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This event was jointly organised by Dr Crane and several other academic and professional colleagues. It was oversubscribed, clearly indicating the popularity of the topic, and led to lively debate and discussion.

This event was picked up by the national press (Police Professional, Autism Daily Newscast, Learning Disability Today, Health Medicine Network, Bloomberg Business Week) following an ESRC press release. As a result of this, the National Autistic Society invited us to Parliament as part of the All Party Parliamentary Group to discuss autism and criminal justice (24th November 2014).

This event was picked up by the national press (Police Professional, Autism Daily Newscast, Learning Disability Today, Health Medicine Network, Bloomberg Business Week) following an ESRC press release. As a result of this, the National Autistic Society invited us to Parliament as part of the all party Parliamentary Group to discuss autism and criminal justice (24th November 2014), and also asked us to review the forthcoming Ask Autism module on autism and criminal justice, designed for training
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.esrc.ac.uk/news-and-events/press-releases/32372/conventional-police-interview-techniques-...
 
Description Evidence-based guidelines on autism for police officers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Working with the UK's leading autism charity (National Autistic Society, NAS) and the Metropolitan Police Service, our research team co-produced evidence-based guidelines for police officers on how to deal with witnesses and suspects with autism. These guidelines were published in April 2017 by the NAS and distributed to police forces widely across the UK, with 3,209 views as of February 2019. The guidelines were also added to the College of Policing's Authorised Professional Practice on mental health, have been promoted by the National Police Autism Association (who circulated them to UK police forces/services), and have been very positively received by the UK police community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
URL http://www.autism.org.uk/products/core-nas-publications/autism-a-guide-for-criminal-justice-professi...
 
Description Intermediaries for Justice Annual Professional Development Conference- 'Vulnerability and Justice' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Our research team have a close and ongoing collaboration with Intermediaries for Justice, the professional body for Registered Intermediaries who work in the Justice Systems of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This collaboration arose originally from our work with several Registered Intermediaries on the current research award.

The research team (PI) and Intermediaries for Justice co-hosted and organised the Annual Professional Development Conference for Intermediaries for Justice, which was held at City, University of London on May 9th 2018 with a theme of 'Vulnerability and Justice'. A diverse range of delegates attended, including professionals from the justice system, civil servants from the Ministry of Justice, healthcare professionals, and representative from the charitable and academic sectors.

As well as hearing from all of these professionals, our research team (PI) presented a talk summarizing recent research findings on vulnerable witnesses, which also highlighted the key findings from our research study. The implications of these findings for Registered Intermediaries in the criminal justice system were discussed. The feedback from the delegates (particularly the intermediaries) was overwhelmingly positive.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.city.ac.uk/news/2018/may/pushing-the-boundaries-to-include-the-most-vulnerable-in-the-ju...
 
Description Invited Talk (Regent's University) on Autism and the criminal justice system 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Talk raised awareness of issues relating to autism and the criminal justice system. Extensive discussion and debate afterwards.

The topic will give rise to an exam question for undergraduates this academic year.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2014
 
Description Invited talk at the Law Society Multi-Disciplinary Seminar on Vulnerable witnesses in the family courts 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Professor Henry was invited to this multi-disciplinary seminar to give a paper on 'Vulnerable Witnesses in the Family Courts: Difficulties faced by children in giving evidence'. The event was attended by a range of professional practitioners including barristers, judges, social workers and academics. There was discussion and debate around how best to deal with child witnesses in the Family Courts using lessons that can be learnt from the Criminal Justice System. Our work on typical children, in particular, has shown that they benefit from the use of a Registered Intermediary, and this was of particular interest to the audience because intermediaries are not routinely available in Family Courts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Invited talk to the Metropolitan Police Service on autism 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was a collaborative talk on autism awareness and crime, together with a former police inspector at West Mercia Police. The talk was to the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse command of the Metropolitan Police Service and generated extensive discussion and questions about how these issues affect best practice. Specifically, discussion centred on balancing police policy with best practice.

Following on from the talk, one of the police officers instigated a project to offer attendees direct experience of autism in a local special educational needs school. Further, Dr Crane was invited to a meeting with the unit's Superintendent to discuss autism.

Following on from the talk, one of the police officers instigated a project to offer attendees direct experience of autism in a local special educational needs school. Further, Crane was invited to a meeting with the Superintendent to discuss autism.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Metropolitan Police Awareness Raising Event 'Autism and Policing' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This 'Autism and Policing' impact event was a large-scale half-day series of lectures and seminars designed for police officers, organised jointly by our research team and the Metropolitan Police Service. It was held at City, University of London in November 2015, and the event was repeated, once in the morning and again in the afternoon to accommodate the large numbers of delegates who had registered. We invited a range of leading experts with extensive professional and personal experience (academics, police officers, Registered Intermediaries, and autistic adults who had direct experience of the criminal justice system) to give lectures and workshops. The event covered three key areas related to autism and policing: (1) raising awareness of autism as a condition and how to identify those who may be on the autism spectrum; (2) how to interview witnesses/suspects with autism; and (3) how to use Registered Intermediaries to help with police interviews - using tailored communication aids and strategies.

130 Metropolitan police officers from a wide range of commands and ranks attended this impact event on Autism and Policing. The event was very oversubscribed and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with officers stating that their knowledge and confidence about autism had increased. Due to popular demand, another similar event was organised with a wider remit, for more police forces and with an emphasis on police trainers (please see separate entry).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.city.ac.uk/news/2015/november/metropolitan-police-awareness-event-autism-and-policing
 
Description Newsletter on child witnesses and the criminal justice system 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The project team worked with a professional designer to develop an attractive and engaging newsletter about the research project. The newsletter provided helpful information about autism and key aspects of the criminal justice system. It also summarised all phases of the research study, the key findings, and some of the engagement activities undertaken by the project team (e.g., talks, podcasts, events). Finally, it provided links to sources of relevant information about autism and the criminal justice system.

The newsletter has been distributed (in print and online versions) to study participants, participating schools, charitable organisations, and other relevant professionals (e.g., police officers, barristers, intermediaries).

The feedback, especially from the autism community, was overwhelmingly positive. For example, one autism charity representative commented: "I often ask our families to get involved in research projects but rarely hear back about what the outcome of the research has been, so this is very welcome".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://media.wix.com/ugd/f2927c_e16f28fd515948f39b9010e3b28c805e.pdf
 
Description Organisation of a conference on Autism and the criminal justice system 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation workshop facilitator
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This conference was jointly organised by Dr Crane and her colleagues, who brought together academics, the autism community, clinical professionals, legal professionals, journalists, criminal justice professionals, and policy makers. The conference highlighted the importance of our research project and generated extensive discussion and debate surrounding the many difficult issues raised by the treatment of those with autism within the criminal justice system.

The conference was reported on by the media (The Psychologist).

Several members of the audience subsequently decided to collaborate to produce a proposed amendment to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act in relation to the treatment of individuals with autism within the criminal justice system, which our team have been invited to review during the final stages of development. The conference was reported on by the media (The Psychologist).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://issuu.com/thepsychologist/docs/psy10_14issu/64
 
Description Organised a symposium at the British Psychological Society Division of Forensic Psychology Annual Conference entitled 'Perspectives on autism spectrum disorder in the criminal justice system' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Our research team organised and chaired a symposium at the British Psychological Society Division of Forensic Psychology Annual Conference. Entitled 'Perspectives on autism spectrum disorder in the criminal justice system', this symposium brought together academics at various stages of their careers (including early career researchers). It also included both academic and clinical psychologists, as well as academics who additionally practise as justice professionals (lawyers and intermediaries). One of the most important features of this symposium was the way it brought together perspectives from both academic research and professional practice, forging links between psychology and law. It also covered all key stages of the criminal justice process (from initial police contact through to trial) and, importantly, included research on individuals on the autism spectrum from childhood through to adulthood.

As a conference aimed at both academics and professional practitioners (e.g., forensic psychologists, intermediaries, lawyers), it allowed us to emphasise how high-quality research on autism can be applied to practice. In doing so, the symposium promoted research aimed at protecting some of the most vulnerable witnesses in society.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.bps.org.uk/events/conferences/division-forensic-psychology-annual-conference-2017
 
Description Poster at ESRC Festival of Science Event entitled Access to justice for children with autism 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was an ESRC funded Festival of Social Science event held at London South Bank University, London, 6th Nov 2013 (entitled 'Vulnerable Witnesses'). Delegates included academics, criminal justice professionals (largely police) and members of the general public.

The poster generated considerable interest and discussion, particularly among police officers and legal professionals in attendance.

The Advocacy Training Council (ATC) attended the event; we told them about our research project and exchanged ideas. This led to collaboration with the ATC to produce one new toolkit on autism (Toolkit 15: Witnesses and defendants with autism: Memory and sensory issues), and to update an existing one (Toolkit 3:  Planning to question someone with an autism spectrum disorder including Asperger syndrome). These toolkits are available on the following website: http://www.theadvocatesgateway.org/toolkits


The Advocacy Training Council (ATC) attended the event and we told them about our research project and exchanged ideas. This led to collaboration with the ATC to produce a toolkit on 'Autism within the Criminal Justice System'. This toolkit will be available on the following website: http://www.theadvocatesgateway.org/toolkits by early 2015.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.esrc.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/festival/events-archive/professionals-2013/vulnerable-w...
 
Description Second Police 'Raising Awareness' Event on 'Autism and Policing' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Our first 'Autism and Policing' impact event was a large-scale half-day of lectures and seminars designed for police officers, organised jointly by our research team and the Metropolitan Police Service. It was held at City, University of London in November 2015, and we invited a range of leading experts with extensive professional and personal experience (academics, police officers, Registered Intermediaries, and autistic adults who had direct experience of the criminal justice system) to give lectures and workshops.

That event was so successful and oversubscribed that we decided to run the event again, with some minor modifications, and the current entry reports on this second impact event. [The first event had covered three key areas related to autism and policing and the content for this second event remained unchanged: (1) raising awareness of autism as a condition and how to identify those who may be on the autism spectrum; (2) how to interview witnesses/suspects with autism; and (3) how to use Registered Intermediaries to help with police interviews - using tailored communication aids and strategies.] The key modifications for this second impact event were: (1) to broaden the reach of the original event to forces beyond the Metropolitan Police (Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey, West Midlands, Staffordshire); (2) to focus on 'trainers' within each of these police forces to enable broader dissemination the information; and (3) to increase the length of the event from a half-day to one full day.

120 delegates (uniform and CID) with ranks from Constable to Superintendent attended, including the Staff Officer to one of the Assistant Commissioners in the Met. There were representatives from many commands including counter-terrorism, murder, sexual offences, organised crime, Trident, and the Directorate of Professional Standards. We received excellent feedback from delegates that the event had raised awareness, confidence and knowledge in all key areas, and that the experts who spoke at the event were knowledgeable, approachable and informative. The research team made many contacts with police officers, and facilitated dialogue between Registered Intermediaries and police officers. One police officer reported that, immediately following this event, he was nominated as the Islington Police lead on autism.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Talk and poster at a practitioner event Methods for Eliciting Accurate Eyewitness Evidence 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Our team (led by Wilcock) organised an event aimed at legal professionals at London South Bank University, London. A member of our team (Wilcock) gave a talk on witness identification and the team collectively presented a poster presentation based on our research to be conducted as part of this grant.

The talk and poster generated considerable interest in our project from practitioners, and led to a related research collaboration (on experiences of autism and the criminal justice system) with Dr Katie Maras (Bath).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www1.lsbu.ac.uk/ahs/downloads/psych/eyewitness-flyer-v2.pdf
 
Description Talk at The Advocate's Gateway (TAG) International Conference 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The research team delivered a presentation entitled 'Access to justice for children on the autism spectrum' as part of a session on 'Autism and Communication' at The Advocate's Gateway (TAG) International Conference on Access to Justice for Vulnerable People held at The Law Society, London (June 2-3rd, 2017). The conference "explored access to justice combining and expanding interdisciplinary research and practitioner knowledge to encourage innovation and best practice". It enabled the research team to raise awareness of the issue of autism as a condition within the criminal justice system, and present a full overview of the study research findings to an international audience. Delegates included justice professionals from a range of jurisdictions (e.g., England and Wales, Ireland, Australia), as well as academics and psychologists. Audience members stressed the importance and value of the research in improving access to justice for this very vulnerable group of individuals with autism.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.theadvocatesgateway.org/conferences/2017-conference
 
Description Talk at The City Law School - City, University of London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Rachel Wilcock was invited to deliver a seminar for academics and students at The City Law School (City, University of London) as part of their Evidence and Proof Forum. Dr Wilcock raised awareness of autism as a condition, before giving an overview of our study findings and their implications for professional practice.

Following this event, Professor Henry has met with Robin Sellers, Lecturer at The City Law School, about potential future collaboration and joint projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.city.ac.uk/law
 
Description Talk at a conference on Autism and the Criminal Justice System 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The talk was featured in an article about the conference, in The Psychologist magazine.

Crane was contacted and asked to review a proposed amendment to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act concerning the interviewing and treatment of people with autism within the criminal justice system. Estimated early 2015. The talk was also featured in an article about the conference, in The Psychologist magazine.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://issuu.com/thepsychologist/docs/psy10_14issu/64
 
Description Talk at a seminar for postgraduate students at City, University of London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Dr Crane presented an overview of the research findings to visiting postgraduate students (comprising teachers and speech and language therapists) at City, University of London. The focus was on showcasing how high-quality research can be effectively translated into professional practice. The students appreciated the direct applications of the work to their professional practice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Talk at the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group (iiiRG) conference (Lausanne, Switzerland) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A member of our team (Dr Crane) was a named author on a conference presentation delivered at the iiiRG conference, focussed on autism and policing. Delegates commented on the importance of the topic and potential impact of the work, which stimulated interest amongst criminal justice professionals at an international level.



Stimulated interest amongst criminal justice professionals at an international level.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.iiirg.org/7th-annual-conference/
 
Description Talk at the Language and Communication Science 2016 Winter Seminar, City, University of London, 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Prof Henry was invited to deliver one of only four talks at this event to showcase the high impact research work in the Division of Language and Communication Science, at City, University of London (30th November 2016). This event was aimed at practising Speech and Language Therapists, students and patients/carers. Prof Henry gave an overview of the findings from our study, focusing on the important implications for the criminal justice system and communication specialists, and participated in a question and answer session afterwards. The talk was very well received with delegates noting the strong practical implications of the work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lcs-winter-communication-seminar-tickets-28657085113#
 
Description Talk at the Ministry of Justice 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Crane was invited to speak at a Ministry of Justice event on Autism and Policing, organised by the Ministry of Justice, Department of Health and the National Autistic Society. Audience members comprised representatives from the Ministry of Justice and Department of Health, as well as senior police officers (representing all police forces across the UK) and the College of Policing. There was considerable interest in the potential impact of the research findings, for policy and practice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Talk at the National Autistic Society Autism and Intellectual Disability in Criminal Justice event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Crane gave a talk at this one-day event (Autism and Intellectual Disability in Criminal Justice - 24th November 2016), on behalf of the project team. This comprised an overview of the research, including the key study findings. A particular focus was on how best to support children on the autism spectrum within the criminal justice system.

There was considerable interest in the results and the team were introduced to useful contacts for future work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/autism-and-intellectual-disability-in-criminal-justice-one-day-event-...
 
Description The Advocate's Gateway Toolkit 15 on Witnesses and defendants with autism: Memory and sensory issues. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Our research team were invited to develop a working group and subsequently write a new Toolkit for The Advocate's Gateway website on 'Witnesses and defendants with autism: Memory and sensory issues' (Toolkit 15). The working group comprised judges, barristers, senior police officers, intermediaries and academics. These toolkits are freely available resources for advocates and others (e.g. police officers) who interview vulnerable witnesses.

The toolkit was published in April 2015, and we received feedback that this was one of the most helpful and comprehensive toolkits on the website. Since its publication, the toolkit has been downloaded (to March 1st 2018) 902 times.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.theadvocatesgateway.org/images/toolkits/15witnessesanddefendantswithautismmemoryandsensor...
 
Description The Advocate's Gateway Toolkit 3 on Planning to question someone with an autism spectrum disorder including Asperger syndrome. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Crane was invited to be on the working group to revise and update the existing Advocacy Training Council Toolkit 3 entitled 'Planning to question someone with an autism spectrum disorder including Asperger syndrome'. The working group comprised judges, barristers, intermediaries, police officers and academics.

This revised toolkit was published on the Advocacy Training Council website on December 5th 2016. The toolkit is freely available to legal professionals and is used by justice professionals across England and Wales (but also has international applications). Between its publication and March 1st 2018, the revised toolkit was downloaded 1,810 times (and in the period March 2016 to December 2016 the original version of this toolkit was downloaded 635 times).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.theadvocatesgateway.org/images/toolkits/3-planning-to-question-someone-with-an-autism-spe...
 
Description Two invited talks for an Autism Innovation Fund workshop funded by the Department of Health, Kings College London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Our research team were invited to give two presentations for this workshop entitled 'People with autism spectrum disorder in criminal justice and mental health systems in South London: Improving recognition and developing preliminary guidelines for support'. Our talks were on our research project, 'Access to Justice for children with autism spectrum disorders' and 'Experiences of autism and the Criminal Justice System'.

The aim of the workshop was to bring together experts in the field of autism and the law to develop guidelines for supporting individuals with autism within the Criminal Justice System.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015