[C]umbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, will attend the launch of the Triple A Project’s training DVD to assist with autism awareness in Carlisle today, Thursday 11 May.
The DVD – ‘All About Autism’ – is a training film for police, which aims to raise awareness and promote understanding of autism, and is the result of a successful partnership project with Cumbria Police, produced by University of Cumbria. The DVD was funded through the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Fund, and the funding has also enabled Triple A Project to reinstate the Autism Alert Card, which will also be launched at this event.
Speaking about the project, Peter McCall said: “I was keen to support Triple A Project’s application for funding as they highlighted to me that there is a high degree of vulnerability within the autistic community, particularly young adults, who as well as being susceptible to becoming victims of exploitation, are also at higher risk of becoming perpetrators of criminal and anti-social behaviour.
“I felt it was important, therefore, to put resources into prevention and early intervention, through training our officers to recognise and better understand some of the particular challenges those with autism experience, and the knock-on effect this can have in certain situations. I also wanted to demonstrate my commitment to ‘we, not they’, which means empowering the people in our communities to work together with us, the police and other partners, to help protect our vulnerable citizens, and tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in our county.”
Helen Storey, Project Manager for Triple A Project said: “This project is a great display of partnership working. Triple A Project operates on the principle of ‘nothing about us without us’ – autistic individuals were played by autistic individuals and police were played by police. These roles, alongside consultation have produced authentic products that will make a significant difference.
“We are grateful to the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner for supporting the venture. There is still a lot of work to do and it is through partnership working that the greatest impact can be made.”
Cumbria Constabulary’s Diversity Manager Sarah Dimmock said: “The DVD will be a vital tool in training our officers so they are better educated on how to interact with people with autism.
“The new autism card will not only benefit the carriers of the card but also our police officers who will receive important information which will help them when they come across an autistic person.
“Throughout the project we have worked closely with our partners at the Triple A Project and will continue to do so.”