National Police Autism Association

NPAA logo
NPAA logo

The National Police Autism Association (NPAA) is an independent group supporting police officers, staff and volunteers who are affected by neurodivergent conditions such as autism (including Asperger syndrome), dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD.  We welcome all police personnel with a personal, family or professional interest in these conditions and currently have over 1,500 members across the UK.

Support we provide

As well as helping police forces support potential recruits and employees, we champion neurodiversity within policing, fostering a work culture where everyone’s strengths are valued and they can fulfil their potential. We offer our members:

  • A private web forum to discuss personal, work and service delivery issues in confidence
  • A network of ‘champions’ to provide local support in each force
  • 'Best practice’ advice for colleagues working with the autistic community
NPAA coordinators meeting

Questions you might have

It’s natural to have questions when taking any new step to become a police officer. The NPAA is here to ensure that your condition will always be respected within your role as a police officer. Take a look through our FAQs below.

What opportunities are there for me to progress within the police service?

There are many opportunities for you to progress. Examples include detective work, dog handling and response policing. Finding the right role will allow you to put your superior attention to detail, ability to retain facts and remember points of law, and your different approaches to problem-solving into practice. Find out more about career progression opportunities.

Will I be suited to a career in the police?

A career in the police can be very rewarding and there are many aspects of policing where a condition or disability will in no way hold you back. Particularly for some specialist roles in policing it can be a real advantage. However, it’s not for everyone and there are aspects of the job that might not be for you. Please come and talk to us so we can help discover the right role for you. Or you can speak directly to your force to find out what opportunities there are - this might include volunteering or a police staff (civilian) role. 

Will being autistic impact my application and what support is provided?

You’ll probably be asked to supply a report from your GP as part of the medical screening process and you will be required to pass an assessment. But reasonable adjustments can be put in place to make the process as fair as possible for you. Get in touch with the specific force you wish to join and they’ll be able to tell you more about the support they offer.

What support is available if I experience discrimination?

The police service does not accept any form of discrimination and is committed to supporting all its officers. There are robust processes in place to ensure all officers are protected, and if you or a colleague experience discrimination due to a neurodivergent condition, get in touch with us – we’re here to help.

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Ben Forbes smiling to camera.

Keep in touch

To find out more and keep up to date with our latest events, you can: 

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Positive Action

Many police forces offer positive action initiatives, such as mentoring and online engagement sessions, to specifically support people from under-represented groups to apply. Get in touch with your chosen force to find out what positive action initiatives they're running. 

Ready to apply?

Forces across England and Wales are recruiting right now. 

See which forces are recruiting