My 19-year old son Abdulkarriem who has Down’s Syndrome was arrested, handcuffed and held in a police cell for nine terrifying hours after trying to go to school on a Bank Holiday to collect his favourite basketball cap that he had left in the classroom.
He left the house without us realising, and he walked to his school – Haringey Sixth Form Centre in Tottenham. He climbed through a window, which set off the alarm. The police came and arrested him and took him to the cells for questioning.
We called police to report him missing after searching streets near our home for two hours, and we were horrified to learn he had been arrested.
I went to the police station and found my son confused and in tears in a cell without his shoes or coat. His fingerprints had been taken, he had been swabbed for DNA and his details had been put on record. Abdulkarriem was only released nine hours later, after the intervention of a lawyer and his school’s head of disability and learning support. The police had made him sign a caution for burglary. This will mean he has a criminal record.
Abdulkarriem told me he had been kicked by the police officers and forced to the floor, and an officer had put his knee in his back. My son has a heart condition. When we got a lawyer to come to the police station the police refused to let the lawyer go to be with him in the cell.
This is an outrageous way to treat any young person, let alone someone as vulnerable as Abdulkarriem who has a Learning Disability.
Please sign this petition to ask the police to withdraw the caution, apologise to Abdul and his family and to stop this from happening to other young people.