A hello to everyone and a quick plug - we are the National Police Autism Association, a new indepdendent body supporting police officers, staff and families affected by ASC, AS and other hidden conditions such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, AD(H)D, depression etc. We also promote best practices for working with members of public affected by autism.
If you've ever wondered whether there are police officers with AS, the answer is yes... there are many aspects of a career in policing that are well-suited to an aspie, but some that are pretty tough as well.
We have a website, www.npaa.org.uk , and a Twitter account "Police Autism UK" @npaa_uk . We're also on Facebook and LinkedIn (search for NPAA). It would be great if you could give us a follow - we tweet about all sorts of things related to autism, AS, equal opportunities and anything "neurodivergent".
Looking forward to taking part in the NAS web forum
Good evening to one and all.Well, well... I was going to leave off from this, in my waiting for someone else to write something. But - the opportunity to speak in a 'calm' situation to actual POLICE (!), is a thing I would do well to investigate. And so I pose here, perhaps a quandary for you.
A lot happens in just a year, including new laws... which prevent one from "upsetting" CHILDREN. Even in self-defence. No more fillips, no more ear-tweaking, no more slight cuffing...
The quandary is this: What are we supposed to do if a bunch of children - or even just ONE of them... decides to "upset" an adult?? Children who use vulgar language, throw stones, steal or break or foul property... they regard you as they might a cat, a pigeon, or a fox, and so they treat you in similar fashion, chasing you and enjoying the harm they do when they catch you.And yet, because they are children... adults - including their own parents - simply look on, smile, and find it CUTE.
"They're just playing!" "Kids will be kids!" "That is your own problem. They won't do *that* again!"
Some children delight in bullying other children... and when you are a certain type of adult, they delight even more in the task, and they even come to see it as a sort of social DUTY.
(Hope you understand. Not surprised if you do not. Ending this post now anyway.)
Excellent questions. Unfortunately I also have no answers.
Hope the police have some constructive advice.
We understand :)
The first thing to point out is that the age of criminal responsibility in the UK is 10, and that children (legally anyone below the age of 18) are bound by the law, the same as anyone else. The things you mention above are classed as assault, theft and criminal damage respectively, which are all offences that the police can investigate. That said, there is a big grey area between what might be classed as 'anti-social behaviour' (even though technically it's a criminal act) and a criminal offence that we would prosecute. For instance, neighbourhood officers often get involved in neighbour disputes which can involve bad language, threats, petty vandalism etc. We would usually try to resolve these informally before going down the formal route of prosecuting offences, and the same often applies when dealing with minor offences committed by children.
In the case of children shouting abuse, throwing stones etc. we would recommend the following:
- Don't retaliate, however tempting it may be. Any use of force should be to prevent injury to yourself and NO more - you may end up having to defend this in court if a complaint is made
- If approaching the parents, bear in mind that some will automatically take their childrens' side, no matter what the circumstances. Make your point politely and firmly, and don't get drawn into an argument
- The safest option, if you want to take the matter further is to report the incident to the police and let us deal with it. We can liaise with the parents, school etc. There may be an underlying welfare issue that needs to be addressed, e.g. neglect in the case of young children using very bad language.
- There is no law in the UK against filming or photographing children (or anyone else) in public, HOWEVER if considering this to gather evidence of criminal damage etc., bear in mind that in the current climate, any adult filming children is likely to provoke a strong reaction from passers-by, and especially parents, and the police will probably be called.
Hope this helps.. feel free to comment or ask any more Q's