Cheshire Constabulary has issued seatbelt covers to 3,000 neurodiverse children across the county.
The seatbelt cover will draw the attention of emergency responders, who will be able to see a contact card with information about the child should they be involved in a collision on our roads.
The card will detail how they are more at-risk, for example if they are non-verbal or will run away if left unattended, and how best to help them, should their parent or carer be unresponsive or unable to relay this information following a collision.
Cheshire is the first police force in the country to issue seatbelt covers of this nature, with the idea coming from an officer whose own experiences had highlighted the need for them.
‘Project Cherish’ is now being supported via the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Police Innovation Fund.
The covers have been distributed across Cheshire through schools and specialist education providers to nearly 3,000 vulnerable neurodiverse children and it is hoped that they will give peace of mind to parents and carers of children with autism in particular.
Cheshire Constabulary have issued seatbelt covers to 3,000 neurodiverse children across the county.
Cheshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, John Dwyer, said:
“Collisions, by their very nature, are high-risk situations which require people to get the right help at the earliest possible opportunity. When a neurodiverse child is involved, the risk is heightened and emergency service workers have to be fully aware of their needs.
“When Project Cherish was proposed to me, I had no hesitation in supporting it and am delighted that my Police Innovation Fund will make a difference in this way.
“Protecting vulnerable and at-risk people is a priority in my Police and Crime Plan and this is a simple step we can take to support thousands of neurodiverse children across our county.”
Chief Constable Mark Roberts said:
“Cheshire Constabulary are delighted to support this initiative and really push for it to be rolled out far and wide.
“We want to do everything possible to minimise the impact and the trauma of a young person, particularly one with a neurodiverse condition, and how they are impacted should they be involved in a collision.”