Being stopped and searched by a police officer can be a daunting experience for anyone, especially if you are autistic. That’s why the Metropolitan Police Service, in conjunction with Anna Kennedy Online, has released an Autism Stop and Search Guide to provide practical advice and guidance to both officers when conducting stop and searches on autistic people and for autistic members of the public who may be subject to a stop and search.
The guide provides information about what police officers can do to help any potential situation run more smoothly and effectively, including tips on how to interact during a stop and search conversation, as well as where best to stand and slowing down the pace of any conversation. Additionally, it explains the protocols involved with a stop and search, such as why it needs to take place, what happens after, and who will review the action taken by the police officer.
With this guide, our goal is that everyone feels safe and respected when engaging with the police. We want to ensure that all members of the public, particularly those on the autism spectrum, understand their rights, are kept informed throughout any interaction with the police, and feel comfortable engaging in conversations with them.