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999-teams’ card alert

PUBLISHED: 16:17 09 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:56 23 August 2010

A card alerting emergency services that its holder suffers from autism has been launched. Kent Police s Disability Action Group has teamed up with Kent Autistic Trust to produce the awareness card. The first red-and-white plastic Kent Autism Alert card

A card alerting emergency services that its holder suffers from autism has been launched.

Kent Police's Disability Action Group has teamed up with Kent Autistic Trust to produce the awareness card.

The first red-and-white plastic Kent Autism Alert cards were given out at a presentation at Kent Police headquarters in Maidstone last Friday.

Detective Chief Superintendent Greg Barry, chairman of the Disability Action Group, Des Walker, family support officer of Kent Autistic Trust, and Kay Brunning, its general manager, attended along with a number of people with autism and their families and carers.

Detective Chief Supt Barry said: "We are pleased to offer our support to this scheme, as it is important all members of our community feel confident about interacting with Kent police.

"There has been an awareness-raising initiative within Kent police as part of the launch, so that officers understand the challenges faced by those with autism spectrum conditions."

The cards have the holder's details printed on the back to help emergency services locate families and carers

Anyone with autism is eligible to apply for a card from Kent Autistic Trust, which is overseeing and administrating the scheme. Cards are issued free of charge.

Mr Walker said: "It is important for the emergency services to be aware if someone has an autism spectrum condition because this may mean they have difficulty communicating.

"They may also appear anxious in unfamiliar surroundings or exhibit behaviour, which to the unaware, may seem strange and could be misinterpreted.

"Kent Autistic Trust would like to thank Kent police and Autism Anglia, formerly Essex Autistic Society, for their help."

For more information on the scheme or to apply for a card, call Mr Walker on 01634 405168, email dwalker@kentautistic.com or write to Des Walker, Kent Autistic Trust, 14 High Street, Brompton, Gillingham, Kent ME7 5AE.

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