People with autism encouraged to join support scheme

As part of World Autism Awareness Week Merseyside Police is encouraging people with a medical diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) to sign up to a special scheme designed to offer them appropriate support.

The awareness week, which takes place between 29 March and 4 April, aims to raise understanding of the challenges faced by those with ASC.

Merseyside Police, in conjunction with Cheshire Autism Practical Support (ChAPS), has funded an Autism Attention Card to support those in our community with a medical diagnosis of ASC.

The card is completed by the person or their carer and stored on the force’s database. It is designed to provide details of their condition, triggers, behaviour traits and any beneficial support so officers and call handlers are aware of their ASC and can act accordingly should the person come into contact with the police.

PC Simon O’Brien and PC Phil Cragg maintain the system for Merseyside Police and go above and beyond their daily duties to help support those in Merseyside who are autistic.

PC Simon O’Brien said, “We have been able to develop something that ensures whether officers deployed via radio room to an incident, or an individual is stop checked on the street, or brought into custody, staff have access to the written notes provided by the person with the condition, and are fully briefed by them on how to give them the most appropriate support.”

PC Phil Cragg added, “The Autism Attention Card ensures that we as a force are acknowledging those with autism in our communities and making sure they are given the appropriate support.

“Autistic people’s needs must have a voice in our communities and this card is just one of the steps we are taking to be more inclusive.”

Visit www.cheshireautism.org.uk/news/attention-card/ to find out more details about the cards and to sign up to the scheme.

Jo Garner, Managing Director of ChAPS, added, “We are very grateful for the work that Merseyside Police do to understand the needs of autistic people. It is imperative that support is given at critical times and the attention card is one way that we can support this need.”

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