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!