We need to make sure that police officers receive training in autism awareness.
We need to make sure that police officers receive training in autism awareness.

I supported the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Autism and their inquiry into the treatment of people with autism in the criminal justice system.

The inquiry heard from the parents of children with autism who had been poorly treated by the police, from police officers who have been leading the way on autism training, from lawyers who specialise in representing people with autism, and we discussed ways to reform the system.

Although the evidence suggests that people with autism are not necessarily over-represented in the criminal justice system, the experience of lots of people is that characteristics associated with autism are often misinterpreted by the police and that interviews for both potential suspects and witnesses need to be autism-friendly.

That’s why, this month, I supported¬†a¬†Bill in Parliament that would require all police forces to train officers in autism awareness.

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