Police launch Autism Alert Card in neighbouring county

Thames Valley Autism Alert Card | Hillingdon Today
Thames Valley Autism Alert Card / Thames Valley Police

Police in neighbouring Buckinghamshire have been working in partnership to break down barriers to communicating with people who have autism.

Building on a successful pilot in Berkshire, Thames Valley Police and Autism Berkshire are now rolling out Autism Alert Cards across Buckinghamshire.

The cards allow the holder, or their parent or carer, the opportunity to explain their condition with ease to others and could include information about the best ways to communicate effectively, or contact details for someone who can assist if required. Those who sign up can also choose to voluntarily share their details with police.

The information is securely stored on Thames Valley Police’s computer systems, allowing officers to have awareness of how best to communicate with the person, if they have reason to do so.

Autism Alert cards were launched in 2010 by Autism Berkshire to provide a simple way for autistic people of all ages and their parents or carers to quickly and easily explain the condition to others, giving cardholders and their families more confidence to go out and about. In March this year, cardholders in Berkshire were invited to share information about their autism with Thames Valley Police to improve communication between the police and autistic people. The success of this pilot has led to their roll-out across Buckinghamshire.

Leading the project, PC Lucie Gray, from Thames Valley Police’s Autism Support Network, said: “We recognise that some people who are autistic may have specific needs which we may need to accommodate when they have a reason to contact us.

“An autistic person can choose to share their information about how they may act in a certain situation with police, which is a positive step towards ensuring we can have the most meaningful interaction. This helps to break down barriers to communication and assists us in being able to provide the best possible service.

“We are delighted to be working with Autism Berkshire and thank them for their support in helping us to meet the needs of the diverse communities we serve.”