I welcome this report on Neurodiversity in the Criminal Justice System. There is clearly more to be done on a national level and the recommendations within the report will help improve the experience of going through the CJS for neurodivergent people. Surrey Police has recognised the need to improve awareness of neurodiversity for both its own staff and for the public.
I have asked the Chief Constable to comment on this report. His response was as follows:
The Force has set up a Neurodiversity Working Group which has a wide variety of attendees from across the business with the aim of improving awareness and communication in relation to all aspects of Neurodiversity. This will cover a wide variety of conditions with improved processes and guidance for both individuals and line managers to help them understand how to best support their staff and the public they come into contact with. There will be a variety of solutions available which are currently being scoped out and details will be made available on a specific page on the Intranet improving ease of access for information.
In addition to the Neurodiversity working group, the Force has an Inclusion Calendar which supports and celebrates certain days/events throughout the year. Examples of activity in this area has included an Autism Open Day where children and young people who have autism were invited to come to Surrey Police HQ, with their families, to see and understand the work of the police.
Surrey Police has made some positive steps, particularly for its staff and on autism awareness but more needs to be done. Neurodiversity links to my lead role in Mental Health for the APCC and my view is that policing and the wider CJS needs to do much better on taking account of neurodiversity. As I work with colleagues in policing and the wider CJS I will seek to ensure that the whole system takes account of the different needs of our staff and public.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey