A virtual online passport to enhance awareness and safeguarding of individuals with autism, by integrating records into NICHE (a record management system).
|Does it work?||
Diversity and inclusion
Vulnerability and safeguarding
Bailiwick of Guernsey Law Enforcement
Voluntary/not for profit organisation
|Stage of practice||
The practice is implemented.
|Scale of initiative||
Children and young people
- Safeguard those with autism, whether they are a victim, witness or suspect.
- Provide enhanced information to colleagues dealing with those with autism.
- understanding and insight into people with autism who are in contact with the police
- response for neurodivergent members of the public, taking into account their specific needs
- management of the incident or scene
- poor communication outcomes
- over-policing of those that are vulnerable, through better understanding and communication
The force worked with Autism Guernsey – a local charitable organisation – to get buy-in to support this initiative.
Research was carried out to see what was available and already being used in practice to support those with autism.
A form was developed, which acted as a ‘passport’. This captures the specific details needed to further safeguard those with autism when encountering the police. This form was amended numerous times with assistance from stakeholders until the agreed form was accepted. The specific details contained in the form are:
home address and postcode
date of birth
details of two appropriate adult details (family member or friend)
‘things you may find helpful when dealing with me’
‘things that make me anxious or stressed’
A fair processing form was designed to accompany the passport, outlining how the force will obtain and treat the data provided.
The force investigated the possibility of embedding this form into a NICHE occurrence (a record management system incident). An autism-specific occurrence was created to house details of the person, the passport form and their appropriate adult contacts. This has the ability to flag their address within the warnings and markers, enhancing awareness for control room operators and colleagues.
The internal communications team highlighted the initiative to staff and members of the public. It was presented to Autism Guernsey, and signposted to linked agencies within government departments and the wider community to alert those that could benefit.
No funding or costs were required apart from resource time during working hours to work on the project. Mainly the forms are emailed out, and they provide them in a printed version.
To date, 66 people with autism have signed up with consent.
There has been a positive impact by the police and Border Agency when communicating with people who have provided their information, particularly around pre-planned warrants.
The response from the general public and people who have signed up to the scheme has been very positive and supportive.
- Initially, a lot of information was considered for the form. A fair amount of it was removed for clarity and focus.
- No cost meant that the scheme was easily accepted and adopted.
- Good communication helped colleagues to understand the importance of the scheme and to embed it.
- Linking the data into the force's record management system, so that the force took ownership and used it, was key to making this a success.