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  1. MP says her legislation would see all policing given awareness training. MP Ann Clwyd: Introduced Ten Minute Bill Date - 2nd May 2019 By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle Mandatory autism awareness training for all police officers will lead to a “better understanding” of the condition, MPs have been told. Veteran parliamentarian Ann Clwyd is attempting to introduce new legislation she claims will lead to fewer "inappropriate prosecutions" and improve relations between officers and the more than 700,000 autistic people in the UK. She delivered a Ten Minute Rule Motion Bill in the chamber, saying that 10 years on from the passing of the Autism Act 2009 some progress has been made, "but many public services do not understand autism enough". But although the Police Officer Training (Autism Awareness) Bill passed its first hurdle – and is scheduled to return to the Commons later this month – without government backing it is highly unlikely to end up becoming law. During the debate, the Labour MP raised the case of Daniel Smith, an autistic man who had been attacked in a Northamptonshire park in 2015 and ran to a police station for help, only for him to end up "handcuffed, locked up for many hours and charged with two assault charges". He was later acquitted of any wrongdoing, but she added that it was a "terrifying and distressing ordeal" that could have been avoided if officers had been able to pick up on his condition. The Cynon Valley MP – who has represented Cynon Valley in Westminster for 35 years – said: "Neither the interests of justice or autistic people themselves are served when there is no real understanding of their difficulties by officers." The National Autistic Society revealed just 37 per cent of police had any autism training, but that 92 per cent said they would find it useful, she told MPs. Ms Clwyd said without the training officers are "unlikely to understand the problems many autistic people face", and would be "unable to understand what it might be like to be accused and questioned". She added: "Inappropriate prosecutions leading to incarcerations might be avoided if autism was better understood and recognised in the custody suite." She also suggested people with autism could be "more willing to come forward to assist" police who had been trained to understand them better. View On Police Oracle
  2. Hi all, Just a quick plug-ola for the National Police Autism Association (NPAA), a new national support group for UK police officers and staff (including SCs and PCSOs) affected by autism spectrum condition, Asperger syndrome and related "hidden disabilities" such as dyslexia - either personally or as carers for family members. Our website is www.npaa.org.uk and Twitter account is "Police Autism UK" @npaa_uk Officers, staff and support professionals can meet and offer mutual support on our private web forum - details on how to register on our website. The NPAA also promotes best practices for police officers working with members of public affected by autism, and champions and publicises police action against hate crime, particularly disability hate crime. For further info, please check our our website or contact us on info@npaa.org.uk NPAA

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