More than 240 police officers in Sutton have been trained to help encourage people with learning and hidden disabilities to report abuse.

The tailor-made training package for police was prepared and presented by Sutton Mencap, Orchard Hill College, Victim Support and SCILL (Sutton Centre for Independent Living & Learning).

The training to 999 response officers, Safer Neighbourhoods officers and CID took place at Sutton Police station over 13 training sessions from 4 July – 28 September.

image-1-41Safer Neighbourhoods Inspector Ian Hicks said the training was all about enabling police officers to give the best possible service to people with disabilities to encourage them to report hate crime, which is widely under reported around the country.

“A key part of this is having crimes and incidents reported to us so we build up a picture of what’s happening so we can put a stop to it,” he explained.

Olivia Griffin, who was the main trainer throughout the sessions, said: “It was an amazing experience to work with the Met Police in Sutton. The officers got involved in all our activities and we received some really positive feedback from them.”

The completion of the training coincides with the launch of Hate Crime Week (8-15 October).

Caption: Police officers with three of our trainers in the front row from left: Anton Morgan-Thorne, Enhanced Service Delivery Manager, Victim Support; PC Nicky Peace, of Sutton Police station’s Vulnerable Persons Unit; and Olivia Griffin, of Malookoo Dance Fitness and consultant working on behalf of Sutton Mencap.