For people with autism, the world can often be a scary place.

But a new card introduced in Oxford this week aims to make their lives easier and help others understand the problems they face.

The Autism Alert Card was launched in Oxfordshire last year and was officially unveiled in Oxford on Wednesday at the Kassam Stadium.

It will be given to the estimated 6,000 people with autism in the county and carries an explanation of the condition, a number for people to call for advice, and the contact details for a carer or friend.

Autism Oxford founder Kathy Erangey, right, said she had been delighted with how it had been going.

Richard Maguire, 46, left, has autism and said the card would have been useful in certain situations throughout his life.

He said: “I know this card has helped people already, it buys them time and understanding, which can be enough.

“I was once arrested for stealing cars from a garage. I wasn’t, I was a customer, but because I ‘melted down’ I could not tell them that.

“The card would have helped explain my behaviour to them.”

The alert card was previously launched in South Oxfordshire, the Vale of White Horse, West Oxfordshire and Cherwell.

Autism Oxford has also trained 350 police officers on how to recognise people with autism.

The card was funded by the NHS and Oxfordshire County Council.

To apply for a card, call 0844 381 4484, email alertcard@autismoxford., or visit