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.)
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
To The "NPAA"...Common decency dictates that I should thank you... and so this IS a genuine Thank you... for taking the TIME to answer (about five days). Follows is my attempt at a reply.
All of that which is stated are matters which I myself already practise. And insofar as your reply is concerned, the main benefit to myself is only having it all IN WRITING.
Your using the term "Underlying welfare issue" is one which I also understand, all too well: A "bad" parent may define themselves via a "bad" child...? Yet as the parent is bad, the actions they encourage their child to do, are seen as CUTE. (I emphasised this CUTENESS in my posted question.)
There is a reason why I chose the "username", of 'Disallowed CYNOSURE'.All of that which I state happens to me, simply UPON SIGHT of me. Upon sight of me, I am seen as a safe target, and I am chased and worried and harassed, to equal pleasure of children and many adults, for they expect me to tolerate (or even show enjoyment of!) all of it. It is seen as CUTE.It is the worse for me upon any of them following me back to where I (am forced to) live; for unruly and bored children then regard that as a valid playground, for them to practise whatever acts relieve their own boredom. And adults *still* find it CUTE.
That is current society. My usual policy is to run away, but I cannot always do that. Glad tidings to all of you in any case. おやすみなさい.
Don't think young children using a lot of bad swear words is seen as cute, it may be a sign that their parents are shouting abuse to each other and their children, so the children see verbal abuse as a normal way of communicating. When older kids do this a lot they may just be trying to be different from adults and to be provocating which is not so unusual, but little kids don't really do this so much yet.
No idea what you can do about it, but if someone finds it cute something isn't quite right with this in itself really.
Upon the discussed topic. I understood what NPAA said:
National Police Autism Association said: There may be an underlying welfare issue
As I understand it, a child emulating a "CareGiver", insofar as not immediately breaking the law, it is seen as CUTE. (See the posts before.) "They don't really mean any harm!" sort of thing. When the child does actually break the law, it does not count for THEM, yet the damage is done to the Victim... who does *not* see it as at all CUTE. "Oh they didn't mean any harm! Get over it!" sort of thing.
Sincerely at you, and I suspect also, the majority of others who may be reading... I suspect that you have never actually had such things performed at you - which IS a very good thing.
Yet for myself:- As soon as a child is old enough to walk, OR talk.. - They are able to pick up stones, OR shout foul language...- They can "accidentally-on-purpose" fall down to obstruct me, OR shout lies in order attract attention to me...- ...And any of that brings the wrath of "caregivers" or onlookers to blame *me*... for not finding it CUTE...."Oh they're just a child!"... And that does not matter if the "child" is no taller than my own knees, or taller than above my head... やれやれ...
(This could begin a whole new Thread by itself, and I am not certain if NPAA (the starters of this Thread) intended that?)