A Country Mile

My esteemed colleague Michael Brown OBE, recently posted this blog called missing the point as a response to the comments of Sir Thomas Winsor, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, in relation to police managing mental health crises.

My blog Ever Decreasing Vicious Circles was posted very soon after the report was published and covers a lot of the same territory.

Both of us have attempted, in our own ways, to consider the issue of whether we actually want the police dealing with such incidents and how we have ended up in this position. Not just looking at the how we do it or the where we do it – but asking the more fundamental question of how it got to a position where the police are a first resort response to mental health issues? Read More…

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A Course of Leeches 

If you have been following me on Twitter or reading my blogs you will know that I have raised a few issues with regards Evidence Based Policing (EBP)

To begin with, I would like to clarify that the concept of EBP – actually knowing what works and using it – is something I have absolutely no issue with at all.

In theory it makes total sense – if there is science or evidence which suggests that a certain thing is effective then why on earth would you not adopt it as best practice.

No – it is not the principle of EBP which concerns me.

It is not the theory – but the practice.  Read More…

Ever Decreasing Vicious Circles 

This is a short and immediate response to the publication of HMIC’s state of policing report.

The top headline is that the police can no longer continue to plug the gaps of other agencies and the primary example of this is around the provision of mental health crisis care.

Sir Tom Winsor identifies that the police have become the first resort of MH crisis management and that this is not right for anyone involved – least of all the person who is unwell.  Read More…

Back to School (Part 4)

Its in – its done and I am now waiting for Emma to read it and give me feedback. Except she is on holiday! This is my fault of course as I should have submitted it on the 24th March but a series of life-events has had to take priority these last few weeks.

I am talking about my literature review. The first piece of academic work I have ever written and the first formal “essay” I have written since 1992. Read More…

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…

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