Mother of arrested Down's teen calls for caution to be withdrawn

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Haringey Independent: Photograph of the Author by

The mother of Abdulkarriem Al-Faisal, the teenager with Down’s Syndrome who was arrested last week, has called for the police to withdraw his caution for burglary.

Roshina Al-Faisal described the treatment of her son by the police as “outrageous”, alleging that he had been kicked and forced to the floor by police officers, despite having a heart condition and learning difficulties.

Abdulkarriem Al-Faisal, 19, was given a caution for burglary after being found inside Haringey Sixth Form Centre in White Hart Lane on the May bank holiday Monday.

Haringey police said that safeguards for vulnerable detainees were followed, and in a tweet on May 8 added: “At all times whilst [Abdul] was in custody, there was an appropriate adult, a solicitor and a special needs worker with him.”

In a written statement on the petition-starting website Change.org, Mrs Al-Faisal said that Abdulkarriem had been held for nine “terrifying” hours after setting off the alarm at his school by trying to retrieve a basketball cap that he had left in the classroom.

She said: “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.”

Under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act guidelines, mentally vulnerable adults can only be interviewed in the presence of a guardian or person experienced in dealing with vulnerable people.

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