The Court of Appeal in London has rejected a bid by the police to overturn a decision to award a damages payment to a sixteen-year-old with autism, learning disabilities and epilepsy who was mistreated by police during a school excursion.
The young man was forced into handcuffs and leg restraints by police during a school trip in London in September 2008. A subsequent court case over the matter found that the young man had been mistreated by the police and awarded the young man a damages payment.
When the police appealed against the decision in February 2013, the Court of Appeal confirmed that in this case the police lacked the necessary understanding and flexibility to adapt to a person with autism and subjected a vulnerable young person to inhuman and degrading treatment.
The National Autistic Society’s Director of External Affairs, Amanda Batten, adds that “Autism awareness and strategies should be standard in police training to ensure that police men and women understand the needs of this section of society and can act appropriately. People with disabilities look to the police to protect them and it’s vital that their needs and behaviours are understood and accounted for.”
More information (English only)