Police trainee visits us to learn about autism

Autism Berkshire recently played host to a special visitor for a couple of days, with trainee police constable Mike Rutland spending time with us to learn more about autism.

PC Rutland, of Thames Valley Police, was given an introduction to autism and the Berkshire Autism Alert Card scheme and went bowling in Wokingham with members of our 197 Club adult social group.

He also spent time at our office in Reading and heard about the support and advice we provide to the public and to professionals whose jobs bring them into contact with autistic people, and some of the issues affecting autistic people and their families that our support workers help with at drop-in advice sessions and through our Helpline service.

Autism Berkshire has been helping to train Thames Valley Police officers about autism for a number of years, including providing seminars for new recruits at the force’s training centre in Sulhamstead, in West Berkshire.

These sessions look at sensory issues, behaviour and communication with people on the autism spectrum, as well as the alert card scheme – similar alert cards are used by autistic people in other parts of the Thames Valley area.

Training for police officers about autism and mental health issues has helped to bring about a substantial reduction in the number of people being taken into custody by Thames Valley Police under the Mental Health Act in recent years.

  • Autism Berkshire offers bespoke training tailored for professionals who work in areas such as human resources, the care sector, education, health and the criminal justice system, along with workshop courses for professionals. Click here for more details of our professional training services, email admin@autismberkshire.org.uk or call the Autism Berkshire office on 01189 594 594.