New blog on policing and mental health

Test-post for a new blog about policing and mental health.  I’m not at all sure how this will pan out but various people have repeatedly encouraged me to get blogging so we’ll give it go and see what happens with the reaction and the debate.


I am a serving police inspector with almost 14yrs service.  All of this has been frontline 24/7 and community policing except for three years which I have spent in a headquarters role working as a specialist on mental health issues.  I have spent time seconded to a national body supporting all 43 forces in England and Wales.

I am blogging in a personal capacity and my views do not represent the official policy of any police force or organisation.


1. To promote a debate about the role of the police in the implementation of the Mental Health Act – the police do not have legal powers to resolve every type of MH crisis and this is not widely understood.

2. To promote debate about the investigation and prosecution of criminal suspects who are mentally ill – when / how should we divert from justice, who should take those decisions and how?

3. To provide practical advice and links to resources for front-line police officers on how to navigate through a legal and medical minefield.  Successful resolution of incidents involving mental health issues can involve “PlanA” when necessary partnership structures and responses are in place but “PlanB” needs to be understood for when they are not.

All ideas on how to develop this space gratefully received!

IMG_0053IMG_0052Winner of the President’s Medal from
the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Winner of the Mind Digital Media Award.

Since this blog began, the law of England and Wales, including the Codes of Practice to the Mental Health Act 1983 have been updated, several times. Always check the date of publication, displayed below; and cross-reference to current legislation and guidance when using this material as a reference guide.


4 thoughts on “New blog on policing and mental health

  1. Great blog with some really interesting first posts. Thanks for starting this off.

    Can I ask though – please can you be clear about the year you’re writing about? There have been changes to the Mental Health Act itself over the years, and it would be really useful to be able to tie in your experiences with those changes.

    1. Will try. I’m conscious, though, that if people wanted to try they could identify my force and potentially some of the incidents. I’m not blogging officially for my force, very much a personal thing, so am keen to keep it vague from that point of view. Happy to explain though, that my 2nd “I remember when I joined …” relates to 1998 and the “s136 post” to all my service until work I did made a difference in 2010. I know that the s136 issues are still issues in many other parts of the UK. Thanks for the feedback, will try to give years where it is OK to do so.

  2. It made my day when I heard about this blog. I’m on my phone at present but will subscribe the minute I get online from my PC.

    From Twitterer to blogger eh? Brilliant.

    Enjoy your blogging. I’m really looking forward to reading more than 140 characters at a time.



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