Autistic suspects can be handcuffed as last resort if aggressive
Last Update: 15/10/2019
KOTA BHARU, Oct 15 -- Members of the police force are allowed to handcuff autistic suspects who are acting aggressively and pose possible threat to them and the public, said the Inspector-General of Police Secretariat head, Datuk Ramli Din.
However, he said, this should only be the last resort after effort has been made to coax the suspect fail in accordance with the standard operating procedure (SOP) for autistic people which was introduced on May 25 last year.
He said autistic patients are usually very sensitive, but they can still be handcuffed like normal individuals if their actions pose a threat to others.
“The decision to handcuff a suspect depends on the case as each case is unique. If the autistic suspect is aggressive and poses a threat to the safety of other people, minimal force can be used.
“This act is a last resort but as far as possible, the police will try to coax or use other methods,” he told reporters after attending the “Autism Roadshow: A Guideline for the Royal Malaysia Police" held at the Kota Bharu District Police Headquarters here today.
Ramli said the SOP was a guideline for police staff to identify people suffering from autism and how to handle them.
He added that after the autistic suspect is detained and taken to the police station, the police must also determine what questions to ask him as they are not like normal suspects.
He said the duty of the police was only to conduct a thorough investigation which includes getting the services of a specialist, before handing the case over to the public prosecutor.
It was then up to the public prosecutor to decide to continue with the case or not.