“I used my experience to improve life for others”

From an autistic Police Constable to Police Sergeant – how one officer successfully challenged the system and improved career prospects for neurodivergent colleagues

Sergeant Suzanne Burke

Back in April we published a blog by Suzanne Burke, a Constable with the Metropolitan Police Service, in which she spoke candidly about her experiences as an autistic police officer. For several years, Suzanne had tried unsuccessfully to achieve promotion, having passed the exams but finding the final interview stage to be an insurmountable obstacle.

Suzanne volunteered as a Police Federation representative in order to help colleagues who are neurodivergent themselves or need advice and support in managing neurodivergent colleagues. With the help of the Federation, Suzanne obtained funding for a National Autistic Society workplace assessment and secured the reasonable adjustments she needed. Since writing her blog, and with this additional support in place, Suzanne was successful in achieving promotion to the rank of Sergeant.

Suzanne said: “I’m now in a Metropolitan Police Service that is getting better all the time and there’s a willingness to change, even right up at the top.”

Read more about Suzanne’s personal journey in the Summer 2021 issue of the MPS Federation London Beat Magazine (click on the links for the online magazine and a PDF download of the article). ∎