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 Blind Leap

GUEST POST – A Police Officers personal experience of Domestic Abuse

I am honoured to have been asked to host this honest and harrowing blog which outlines a friend and colleague’s personal experience of domestic abuse. Not all domestic abuse is violent but the effects are hugely damaging and frightening. I would like to praise the author for her courage in speaking out and for inviting me to host the blog. NC

The following has emotional and raw content including domestic abuse and suicide discussed. This may affect some people; if so please remember you can contact Samaritans from any phone on 116 123. Or the National Domestic abuse helpline 08082000247

If you identify with this I am hoping the following will help you, I really do want to help you and for you to know you are not alone. It’s too late for me in some respects but hopefully not for you.

Read More…

The Problem With Elephants

Let me start by saying that I have no problem with actual elephants. They are intelligent and amazing creatures who need protecting wherever they live. I can assure you that no elephants have been or will be harmed in the writing of this blog.
My problem is with metaphorical elephants. White ones; ones which have a habit of being “in the room”; ones who never forget and the ones you have to eat one bite at a time. Read More…

The Bleedin’ Obvious

I’m sure you will be aware by now that I am in the early stages of a research degree. Though this may change or become more refined – the question I am seeking to answer is

“Are the police the right agency to be dealing with mental health incidents?”

I have spent the last few months reading. By which I mean reading a lot. I have read historical documents on the role of the police; books on mental health policy in the U.K.;studies in police interactions with people with mental illness from across the world; evaluations of Crisis Intervention Teams and Triage schemes; writings on a new concept called Law Enforcement and Public Health; reports on the implications of using Taser on people with mental illness; medical reports on the use and effects of restraint as well as papers on various elements of psychiatry and certain mental disorders.

Amongst other things. Read More…

Where There’s Light – There’s Hope

Over the last couple of years I have noticed a conversation occurring at work which, once upon a decade ago, would have been practically unheard of.

The “if I could leave – I would” discussion has now become relatively commonplace and is particularly noticeable amongst colleagues in mid ranking roles or with over ten years service.

It has even spread to Twitter and I found myself having such a conversation with a colleague just the other night. He described feeling out of place, like he couldn’t just get on with his job anymore. He described a huge amount of emotional turmoil but then said he felt like it was just him.

It isn’t. He is far from alone.

Read More…

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