top of page

(UK) Autistic Society demands police training after teens dragged from home

Aug 11, 2023, Mirror: Autism charity demands police training after autistic teen is dragged from her home
A charity is demanding compulsory autism training for all police officers after a video emerged of a teenage girl being dragged from her home and arrested after she told a police officer she looked like her lesbian nana.

A video showing the arrest of the terrified 16-year-old girl was released by her mother Lisa Rozycki who was furious that seven officers arrived at her house to take her daughter away for a reportedly "homophobic" remark. West Yorkshire Police said it was dealing with a complaint from the mother, and urged people to "avoid reaching conclusions solely on the basis of the social media video" which "only provides a very limited snapshot of the circumstances of this incident".

The video shows officers in the hallway of the family's home, with the youngster cowering under the stairs. The mother can be heard trying to explain that the child is autistic, and therefore doesn't like to be touched, and is likely overwhelmed by the situation, but the officer responds: "I don't care."

Now charity the National Autistic Society is urging the government to enforce mandatory police training, so frontline officers understand the condition that people in the community face.

Tim Nicholls, head of influencing and research at the National Autistic Society, told the Mirror: “While we can’t comment on the specifics of this case, as we don’t know all the details, autistic people can find communicating difficult and can become extremely anxious in situations they don't understand. It’s essential that police officers understand autism, and that specialist support is available when needed. We’ve been calling for mandatory training for police officers for years, ...

The charity already has a guide for police officers and staff about autism, what it is, how it can present itself and the dos and don'ts for arrests. It reads: "Autistic people have difficulties with interpreting both verbal and non-verbal language like gestures or tone of voice. Many have a very literal understanding of language, and think people always mean exactly what they say. They may find it difficult to use or understand: facial expressions, tone of voice, jokes and sarcasm. Some autistic people may not speak, or have fairly limited speech. They will often understand more of what other people say to them than they are able to express, yet may still struggle with vagueness or abstract concepts."…


bottom of page