University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Police and Carers' Beliefs About Learning Disabled Offenders.

McBrien, Judith Ann. (2001) Police and Carers' Beliefs About Learning Disabled Offenders. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (5MB) | Preview


Evidence suggests that care staff have difficulty recognising offending behaviour (Thompson and Brown, 1997) and are reluctant to report it to the police (Lyall, Holland and Collins, 1995). Whilst there has been speculation as to why there may be such reluctance, there are no empirical studies. Potential reasons for not reporting include supposition about what the police might do. The study of causal attributions by care staff of challenging behaviour in people with learning disabilities has proved fruitful. Such an approach could elucidate the thinking behind care staff and police views of reporting crime and its consequences. The present study set out to replicate the finding of reluctance to report and extend it by testing some of the speculative reasons given in the literature, comparing care staff and police, including ratings of causal attributions and affect. Comparisons were made throughout according to perpetrator status (with or without learning disability). The accuracy of each staff group’s perceptions of the other group’s attributions and affect was also assessed. Questionnaires using vignettes of three fictitious crimes (assault, rape and minor theft) by people with and without learning disabilities were completed by 80 care staff in residential homes and 65 police officers working in the same city. Findings suggested that care staff are less reluctant to report incidents to police than found by Lyall et al (1995). On the whole carers and police views were in accord concerning perpetrators without learning disabilities but there were significant differences between groups rating perpetrators with learning disabilities, particularly for the two more serious crimes. Limitations to the study and its implications for practice and future research are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : McBrien, Judith Ann.
Date : 2001
Additional Information : Thesis (Psych.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2001.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 06 May 2020 13:07
Last Modified : 06 May 2020 13:11

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800