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Home Affairs Select Committee

This is my written submission to the Home Affairs Select Committee Inquiry into Policing and Mental Health.  Advance warning: it is much longer than a normal post, written differently and posted here mainly for reference; but feel free to wade through it if you wish! BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY 1.1 I am currently serving as a … Continue reading

Restricted Restraint

Right, here’s a restraint related situation for you! — It doesn’t matter which of the following three scenarios we’re contemplating or whether you’re thinking of your own – it could be a police officer dealing with a drunk person who is offending and needs to be arrested; a mental health nurse attempting to safeguard a … Continue reading

Fit To Be Detained

I know we keep hearing about the unacceptability or undesirability of those of us living with mental distress being detained in cells.  I’ve always agreed about this when we are discussing detention under the Mental Health Act.  I still think is a bit medieval to contemplate a country that can’t ensure such matters are handled … Continue reading

Where Did It All Go Wrong?

Dr Jenny HOLMES has blogged here before – and she has an open invitation to post whatever she wants whenever she wants as far as I’m concerned.  An experienced police custody doctor and an NHS psychiatrist – she’s a medical professional who sees the interface of policing, mental health and criminal justice very keenly from … Continue reading

Late Intervention

For many years now, we’ve heard the repeated mantra of early intervention – both in terms of treatment of mental health problems and in terms of diversion from the criminal justice system for those who come into contact with the police or the courts. We’ve heard of and seen services explicitly branded with an Early … Continue reading

Somewhat Exasperating

I sometimes think we’re getting somewhere with this stuff and then quite unexpectedly, I come across apparently minor and incidental things which make me suspect all the progress we think we’re seeing is an illusion – somehow apparent because of cosmetic changes that seem both intuitive and convincing. If we build a load of place … Continue reading

Coercing Other People

Policing and mental health services have many things in common (as well as some potentially insurmountable differences) but I want to consider one issue that is arguably the most controversial aspect: they are each systems of social control which involve the coercion of other people, by the threat of and the use of physical force. … Continue reading

Nearest Relatives’ Rights

I took a bit of stick on social media month or three ago, for trying to help a family who were clearly at their wit’s end with worry and frustration, arising from a situation involving what they claimed was a mentally unwell relative.  It’s a slightly odd position that I’ve found myself in, being active … Continue reading

Undiminished Responsibilities

I read a throw-away remark on Twitter this week, about mental health professionals – specifically psychiatrists – being the experts to determine whether or not someone’s mental health condition has caused offending behaviour or whether it was quite coincidental. This self-evidently obvious statement is, in fact, quite wrong! It is, ultimately, a matter for courts, … Continue reading

The Dangerously Mentally Ill

You know what I’m referring to here, don’t you?  Just that term, “the dangerously mentally ill” tells you all you need to know about the group of people I’m referring to.  It’s such a self-justifying, explanatory term that it doesn’t really need any further explanation or clarification – you’re delivered straight to a vision of … Continue reading

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Michael Brown

Michael Brown

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