Co-training police officers

Yarrow service user are acting as co-trainers for Metropolitan Police Officers to improve the way they work with people with people with learning disabilities as victims of crime and as witnesses. Police officers on the advanced Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) course spend two days with Yarrow’s service users, who are paid for their time. Together, they watch short videos showing a crime being committed, such as a robbery.  Service users are then interviewed by a police officer about what they witnessed. The police officers are assessed on their line of questioning and their ability to gather admissible evidence on tape.

Feedback from the police officers, their trainers and Yarrow’s service users has been overwhelmingly positive. Until recently, people with learning or communication disabilities were not generally accepted as reliable witnesses and even when the prosecution supported their evidence, only a small number of cases resulted in conviction.

Yarrow and the Metropolitan Police Service were finalists in the UK National Training Awards in 2010.