Highlands & Islands

New support for autistic people falling victim to crime

Teenager holding his head in his hands
Image caption The card provides details for a personal contact police and care staff can approach

A new card will be available to people with autism to help them if they fall victim to crime or are involved in an accident.

The Autism Alert card carries contact details for a person who can help police, firefighters and medical and council staff give the best support.

The National Autistic Society (NAS) Scotland has urged teenagers and adults with autism to apply for it.

Northern Constabulary is among public bodies welcoming the card.

NAS Scotland director Dr Robert Moffat said it was vital that emergency and care services had the right information to support people with autism.

He said: "Being a victim of a crime or accident can be a stressful experience for anyone.

"But for someone with autism, it can be particularly disorientating and frightening."

Dr Moffat added: "People with autism often have difficulty understanding facial expressions, can be very literal in their understanding of questions and easily misinterpret others' intentions.

"In an environment of serious crime or medical emergency these types of misunderstandings can have serious consequences."

Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service and NHS Highland have also offered their support to the initiative.

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites