Published on 12, July, 2020
Has anyone else had a negative experience with police?
I'm only a 14 year old and I have probably had the worst interaction with police. Unfortunately, there was one incident which led to me being arrested in August 2020. At the time I hadn't been diagnosed with autism.
I used to have a problem with leaving and wandering when I was distressed. But this night was different. I was feeling suicidal due to the thoughts of no one understanding me. I guess the police were called because I was in possession of a bladed article (which I didn't completely understand was extremely illegal).
But when the police turned up I was even more distressed and overwhelmed due to the lights in the dark and the sirens on. And I was in a confused state at the time so I wasn't completely aware of what they were saying. (Usually people talk in simple short sentences rather than paragraphs). I guess the police didn't understand I was on the spectrum so when I did what they told me to do, they obviously put handcuffs on me which was a problem if you hate things touching you unless it's a firm deep pressure touch. Due to that I starting kicking and became anxious because I din't have a clue was was happening and what was going to happen (and if you're like me, you like things to be predictable or a warning of change).I was then arrested for many things and taken into custody. I didn't understand the law much last year but now I do luckily. One other thing which upset me was my routine was ruined.
Has anyone else had a negative experience with police, due to them not fully understanding what autism is or the main signs?
I'm sorry if you have. I've never really been able to tell anyone this since I would be labelled as 'the naughty child'. I hope you guys understand.
There's a couple of things you need to take into account to cut them a bit of slack - the plod deal with the worst of the worst of the worst on a daily basis - they are assaulted and lied to as a matter…
Thanks for your advice, I've now got a card explaining I'm on the spectrum which I have on me 24/7. It's great to use during a shutdown in public or just in general.
With a camera in hand the police like to target photographers. They judge others by their own low standards. Take this the right way, I support the Police Force and am grateful they exist. The few bad apples make a bad representation of the majority. Luckily I know the law regarding photography so they get put into their places quickly. My best tactic is to be polite and measured, talking without masking is very monotone and emotionless, completely factual. It works.
As for your bladed article. I keep a UK legal Victorinox Pioneer multi-tool on my person. It has a blade shorter than 3 inches and is non-locking. I used to be a chef and would carry my tools to and from work. I got stopped a couple of times and all is well for such circumstances.
If you become emotional with them they can use any reason they like to commandeer your freedom, my top tip is always request a doctor over a duty solicitor. The brief can come later.
Explaining that one is autistic is something I have in reserve should a situation arise. It would go something like this - "I am happy to come with you to the station officer but please do not restrain me as I am autistic. If you try to restrain me I will violently defend myself and be guilty of assaulting a police officer but that will not happen if you do not restrain me. As I said, I am autistic and I am happy to accompany you to the station." Never had to use that one but something I have on the burner.
They have one of the most difficult jobs in the country and they have to be careful for their lives as well as the public and the persons they deal with.
Like you said, I am grateful to have police around and I know a few personally. My parents have been really supportive during these hard times and have let the police know that I am on the spectrum and how to communicate and calm me down when needed, for whenever I come into contact with them, either as a victim, witnessing a crime or not. They protect us and the public and people they deal with and I'm grateful for that, especially around where I live.