I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.
— Maya Angelou
“Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ”
― Paulo Freire
Challenging the Criminalisation of Autistic People
one of the last sanctioned areas of institutionalised discrimination in the UK
We are a support and campaign group of autistic people and their families/friends,
set up to hold Government and other public bodies accountable
for injustices and abuses against autistic adults and children
The short term aim of our campaign is discussed here.
Discrimination, injustices and abuses of police power against autistic people are not
the result of “a few bad apples”. They result from a systemic culture of indifference,
and often corruption, that goes to the very top of all parts of the criminal justice
system; a phenomena recently described in relation to the death of George Floyd as
“wickedness in high places” (see discussion below).
Our longer term aims are:
That criminal justice and care professionals follow the laws, guidelines and policy that already exists to safeguard autistic people and fully acknowledge neurodiversity.
That these professionals, and society at large, understand neurodiversity so that autistic people's appearance and/or behaviour is not misunderstood and misrepresented in a way that discriminates against them and puts them at risk of serious harm.
"Until the law is upheld and people [police officers] know they will go to jail, they're going to keep doing this 'cause they're protected by 'wickedness in high places' ".
― Rev. Al Sharpton's eulogy for George Floyd, 09/06/2020
The horrific killing of George Floyd resurfaced very distinct issues of racial hatred, but
the Rev. Sharpton's use of the term "wickedness in high places" exactly describes
why so many injustices are able to be perpetrated against autistic people without
redress. These crimes in the UK can only occur because those in positions of power
(Chief Police Officers, PCCs, CEO's of the CPS, IOPC, ICO, etc., Chairs of Safeguarding
Adult Boards, senior civil servants and Government Ministers themselves) allow them
What do we learn from the stories on this site:
"Decision making concerning health care matters should be made by clinically trained
professionals and not police officers.” 'College of Policing, Authorised Professional
Practice: Mental Health'
As the Rev. Sharpton also noted, we don't need new laws, we need those in power to
make sure that laws are applied equally to police officers who transgress them (if not
more so because they are upholders of the law) as they are to minority groups they
frequently target. The stories told on this site are evidence that those in authority are
breaching the law in their treatment of autistic people, that lack of accountability is
systemic, and that the criminal justice system as a whole (both fragmented yet glued
together) is designed to break people down and give up from getting the justice they
are entitled to.
Links to other campaigns and News Items are at the bottom of this page