Autism and Policing
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Autism and Policing

This is a project about what happens to autistic people when they are detained in police custody. We are a group of autistic people, legal researchers and psychologists.

We are interested in:

  • Why do autistic people get arrested?
  • How can arrest be avoided?
  • What happens to autistic people in police custody?
  • What happens to autistic people after they have been arrested?

Why study autism and policing?

At the moment not very much is known about how we should support autistic people in custody. Although research has shown that autistic people are no more likely than non-autistic people to commit a criminal offence, research does suggest that autistic people are more likely than non-autistic people to come into contact with the police. Our research is finding that police custody is a very stressful environment for autistic people.

The police already have duties to ensure that people in custody are safe and know what rights they have. We want to investigate whether the current duties the police have are effective when they are used to ensure autistic people are safe and know their rights.

This website is intended as a resource for anyone with an interest in the experiences of autistic people in police custody.


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Autism and Policing

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD