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Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Arrest and Detention of Autists by Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM)

Zuliza Mohd Kusrin, Wan Nur A’ina Mardhiah Wan Rushdan, and Mohd Al Adib Samuri

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 29, Issue 1, March 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjssh.29.1.10

Published: 26 March 2021

An autist refers to a person who suffers from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a complex disorder of mental development, causing the person to be adversely affected, especially in social and behavioral aspects of life. Prior to the introduction of a specific Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the arrest and detention of autists, the Royal Malaysia Police applied the same standard operating procedure in the Criminal Procedure Code for typical individuals, to autists suspected of criminal offences. However, the issue arising is the legal rights of people with disabilities whereby this SOP is seen as inappropriate and unsuitable to be applied to cases involving autists. As a result, the authorities and parties involved in handling autists came up with the idea of the need for a specific SOP applicable for their arrest and detention. Finally, in the year 2019, the Royal Malaysia Police, in cooperation with NGOs directly involved with autist, successfully launched a specific SOP for autists. The objectives of this article are to study the significance of the specific SOP for autists, and analyse and compare it with the usual SOP for typical people. The methodology of this research is qualitative. Collection of research data used document analysis. Data obtained was thematically and comparatively analysed. Research results find that there are differences between the specific SOP for autists and standard SOP for typical suspects. The differences lie in the legal rights of the autists in Malaysia, namely, in the aspects of arrest and detention of autistic suspects.

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ISSN 0128-7702

e-ISSN 2231-8534

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