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Exceptional Circumstances – the Cart Before The Horse

Within the next two months, aspects of the Police and Crime Act 2017 relating to the Mental Health Act will come into force.

These will affect where a police officer can invoke Section 136 (which will increase the places in which it can be used) and it will stipulate that a police officer must, where practicable, consult with a mental health professional before using Section 136.

Both of these amendments are likely to lead to foreseeable issues. It is almost certain that the use of Section 136 will rise given the fact it will be possible to use it in private places other than dwellings. (The removal of the word “finds” is also likely to legalise the “would you mind stepping outside” tactic which has been previously unlawful. I’m not sure this was the Government’s intention but it’s obvious this will happen.)

In order to mitigate against this possible rise comes the stipulation regarding speaking to a mental health professional before using the power. Except there are some problems here as well. Read More…

A Drama Out Of A Crisis

A tweet from Surrey’s Chief Constable Lynne Owens really struck me this morning. It said this:

“My officers & staff have been dealing with 3 high risk missing people overnight. The continual increase in these cases is concerning”

  Read More…

The Man Who Cried

I joined the police when I was 19. I had no life experience and I wasn’t ready for it. I wasn’t prepared for the things I was about to see. I was a boy.

22 years later, when I look back on that time, it feels very much like viewing someone else’s life. That boy who was about as green as they come is now so hardened, so exposed to horror and trauma and so used to dealing with crisis that he has become a man who is pretty much unshockable.

Read More…

Theoretically Speaking

In the last two weeks, @RichardJGarside director of an “independent public interest charity” called The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies has penned two articles about police reform for The Guardian.

The central thrust of Mr Garside’s articles is that lowering the police budget will lead to more balance in the public sector and that slashing the police budget will stop police officers doing other people’s jobs.

Read More…

The System Is Broken

The Care Quality Commission have today published their report Right Here Right Now which outlines the results of their research into how people feel they have been treated by various agencies when they have experienced a mental health crisis.

The report should send shockwaves across all of the agencies involved as well as those charged with commissioning their services. I can only hope it detonates something and accelerates the glacial rate of change we have seen so far. 

Read More…

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