Tag Archive | Mental Health

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…

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.

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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.

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Re-imagining Police Custody


A Home Office commissioned report has today said that about a quarter of a million vulnerable people are not receiving the support of an “appropriate adult” while in police custody.

A few months ago, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary published their report on “The Welfare Of Vulnerable People In Custody” which made clear the distance still to travel in terms of how police manage the vulnerable in their care. I blogged about this at the time in a missive called One Size Fits All. The point of the title was to draw attention to the fact that custody suites are designed to be generic buildings with little to no provision for anyone with any form of vulnerability. A cell is a cell is a cell.

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The Burning Platforms


Things were different when I joined. Well, they were. This was back in 1994, I was a boy. I didn’t have the first damn clue what I was letting myself in for. I had wanted to be a policeman since I sat staring in awe at the copper stood in full Number 1 uniform lining the route of the Queen’s Jubilee tour in 1977. I was 3.

“What’s that medal for?” asked my father pointing at the Long Service and Good Conduct medal proudly displayed on his chest.

“Not getting found out.” he replied with a wink.

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Mental Health Cop

A venn diagram of policing, mental health and criminal justice