By Ruth Peters, 16th May 2023
The City of London Police is the first police force in the country to screen those detained in custody for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The new checklist has been devised by qualified counsellor and therapist Sarah Templeton to ensure that there is a pathway to diagnosis with urgent cases being fast-tracked to an NHS provider of adult ADHD assessments. Read the article by the City of London Police.
The aim of the pilot is to help identify those with ADHD entering the criminal justice system at an early stage, allowing for a quick referral for diagnosis and to assist in obtaining the support they require. It is hoped this will give a better understanding of the crimes committed by those with ADHD and help prevent reoffending.
This new pilot dovetails with the mental health checklist already incorporated in processing individuals through the Criminal Justice System. The mental health checklist, developed by the Crown Prosecution Service and the National Police Chiefs’ Council, aims to improve the depth and quality of information provided to CPS prosecutors before they make charging and case management decisions. It also seeks to ensure that suspects with mental health conditions or disorders are accurately identified.
Detective Chief Inspector Anna Rice of the City of London Police commented:
“Being the first police force to adopt ADHD screening shows we are leading the way in supporting vulnerable suspects who enter the criminal justice system in our custody. The pilot will identify undiagnosed ADHD among detainees, supporting them and ensuring they are processed fairly.
“This comes soon after we were the first in the country to have successfully used a new Mental Health and Neurodevelopmental Checklist when dealing with suspects. People’s mental health is very important to us and we’ll continue champion initiatives that secures the most appropriate outcome for those suspects with neurodiversity whilst obtaining positive outcomes for the victims.”
Sarah Templeton, CEO of ADHD Liberty, said:
“We’ve been working for seven years to raise awareness about the number of prisoners with ADHD and we’re beyond grateful to the City of London Police for being the first force to be involved in the pilot. It will prove how many people being held in police stations have undiagnosed ADHD. A mental health nurse I have spoken to, who has worked in prisons for 20 years, puts the rate of ADHD at 85 per cent. It shows how serious the problem is.
“Our goal is to screen current prisoners and those in police custody and medicate those with ADHD. We want all forces to follow the City of London’s stance as it will greatly improve our understanding of the issues and help prevent reoffending.”
Olliers’ specialist representation of neurodivergent individuals
At Olliers we have particular expertise in representing clients with ADHD as well as other neurodivergent individuals.
We do not believe in sitting and waiting it out: there may in fact be a lot that a client can do to put themselves in the best position possible. For example, if we think that expert evidence may assist with trying to persuade the Crown Prosecution Service to refuse charge or caution somebody rather than charge, we will advise how to approach this.
Here at Olliers, our experience in this area means we know what is likely to help in our cases. All of our lawyers are trained in neurodiversity. We share knowledge of what works and we make sure we keep up to date with relevant areas of the law. We even campaign on issues, so ultimately the system treats our clients better.