Police responses to people with disability

The report finds that often, police responses to people with disability – whether they are witnesses, victims or alleged offenders – are not adequate. This is because policing is the ‘default’ response to people with disability who experience disadvantage, like homelessness, poverty or violence, while there is less and less funding for other social and human services, eg counselling, social work, shelters, housing and mental health teams.

The recommendations promote community based, culturally safe and trauma informed programs that divert people away from the criminal justice system if they into trouble, like the Cognitive Impairment Diversion Program

The report also says:

  • Independent disability responders’ should be available to all police services when interacting with a person with disability. This should be law, and these laws should be the same across all jurisdictions.
  • All police should be trained to recognise that a person might have disability. This training should be presented by people with disability.
  • Every police information system should be able to note and flag whether someone has disability.
Download report (off-site)
Justice, Safeguards and workforce quality

University of NSW

Disability Royal Commission

Date published:
Tue 28th Sep, 2021