Autism Alert Card Working Group (Metropolitan Police Service)

Why was this team nominated?

This team is made up of individuals with a keen interest in safeguarding and an admirable determination to improve how police interact with individuals with autism. It was these things that brought them together at a Disability Hate Crime Working Group.

Due to their shared passion they created their own working group where they shared ideas on how they could improve police service delivery to those with autism. The team designed and created an Autism Alert Card and passport that could be issued to individuals with autism.

This card could then be produced by the individual concerned and presented to the police officer interacting with them. The information on the card and passport then allows the officer to know how best to communicate with that individual to ensure the interaction is as smooth as possible for both the individual and the officer.

How do they demonstrate professionalism in everyday policing?

The dedication and professionalism shown by this team to turn this idea into reality cannot be overlooked. The individuals involved all have busy day jobs and took this scheme on of their own volition with a determination to improve the policing service received by a vulnerable section of our communities, often giving up their own time to do so.

They managed to secure funding for the scheme from POCA and also involved another two police forces in order to maximise the reach of the scheme. The feedback received to date has been incredible and is deserving of recognition.

What's the lasting impact of their story on colleagues or the public?

The response to the Autism Alert Card and passport has been phenomenal, with over 10,000 cards and passports delivered. Positive feedback from organisations and individuals including The National Autistic Society has been incredible.

As a direct result of the scheme, an Autism Support Group has been created within the force as well as a dedicated internal internet page where officers and staff can share stories, seek support and signposting to a number of external support agencies. This has also encouraged officers and staff with a diagnosis to be open about it for the first time in their careers.

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