Watch this video also that Marcus took of himself being arrested outside McDonalds in Great Yarmouth as an illustration that, although the police clearly find Marcus' behaviour provocative, they only have themselves to blame given their over-the-top, embarrassingly heavy handed response to a close encounter of the autistic kind. As a result of this arrest, Marcus received a restraining order from Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court banning him from filming any McDonalds restaurants in England or Wales.
One thing that seems to characterise all the police officers in Marcus' many videos of them, is a distinct lack of a sense of humour, never mind a lack of humanity. There are many skills the police could and should have used to de-escalate the situation rather than allowing themselves to be provoked. Note that PACE requires all other available responses to be considered before resorting to arrest. SEE NOTE ON POLICE POWERS OF ARREST HERE.
Marcus was held in Norwich Prison pending a hearing set for 19th January 2018 but was released by a judge following a petition launched, titled "Free Marcus Potter—Autism is not a criminal offence", which attracted 10,000 signatures. While being held in prison Marcus was only allowed three visits per month. He was released from prison because the judge concluded that he needed a care plan from the Local Authority, not prison, but in spite of a social work assessment eventually being completed in August 2018 (7 months later), it simply concluding that the Learning Disability Team could not meet Marcus's care needs and he would be referred to the Mental Health Team.
Statutory services have still not provided Marcus with a Care Plan or any follow up support 10 months after the judge released him from prison on the basis he should have a care plan. He has also been arrested a further 8 times for so-called breaches of his original Criminal Behaviour Order. On the last occasion he was imprisoned again for breaching his CBO—i.e., he was seen within 100 meters of a police station. Bail was eventually granted with the conditions of being tagged, a 7pm curfew, and again, not going within 100 meters of a police station.
Recent correspondence from Marcus' mother reads:
"The most disappointing and frustrating thing is that Marcus received all the material to start his Open University Course only about 5 days before he was sent back to Prison. I did post the book for him to the prison, so hopefully he will start his studies there, however, he needs a phone line and internet access to contact his Tutor, staying in Prison means he won't be able to do the Course!"
Autistic adults continue to be criminalised because of the failure of Health and Social Care services to meet their statutory responsibilities to safeguard and support them.
Here is what Marcus himself says about the illegitimacy of the CBO:
'ACPO guidance states "There are no powers prohibiting the taking of photographs, film or digital images in a public place. Therefore members of the public and press should not be prevented from doing so." As previously established by case law, swearing at a Police officer is not a crime. This proves that they should not be making an order to prevent me engaging in the behaviour of lawfully protesting against the actions of Police officers.'
The actor Richard Mylan—whose BBC documentary Richard and Jaco: Life With Autism was broadcast last year—was also part of the campaign to free Marcus and was right to express concern about his 11 year old son's own preoccupation with filming in this recent BBC news item.