Guest Blog: Autism and working in Hampshire Constabulary

My name is Lee Barnard and I am a member of Hampshire Constabulary within ACRO Criminal Records Office. I have been working as part of the Force from September 2010, and received an autism diagnosis in November 2015.

Since then ACRO have utilised my differences to test new software, create and review process guides as well as being a single point of contact for specific tasks.

They have worked with me to provide reasonable adjustments such as factoring regular breaks into my working day to ensure I do not become overwhelmed, to providing a trained person to come in through access to work for guided self-help and learning.

As well as the above, I had authorisation to go on an Autism Ambassadors course, raising awareness for my condition. As part of this I have delivered eight presentations, drawing on my own life experiences to raise understanding and acceptance within the Constabulary.

As part of the National Inclusion Week in 2019, I attended a panel discussion with a Chief Inspector, Police Officer and Volunteer Chaplain talking about our individual life experiences and taking questions from the audience. I also delivered an awareness session and a presentation to staff who had an interest in learning more. These have been well received to date and received some very thoughtful feedback.

The Equality & Inclusion Team at Hampshire Constabulary would like to thank Lee and other Autism Ambassadors for all their hard work in raising awareness for autism across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. We recognise they continuously look at ways to improve and better internal working conditions and external services to the public.