Quick Guide – RAVE Risks

  • This guide is an attempt to “operationalise” complex issues and you should refer to your area’s policy and your supervisors for specific local requirements.
  • This is a mnemonic to assist in establishing whether a non-criminal incident, involving the administration of health and / or social care processes should involve the police.
  • It is a starting point for discussions, not an end point.
  • And it relates to the heightened potential for risks which are legitimately beyond the ability of NHS or Local Authority staff to manage after employing their normal procedures.
  • These are the grounds upon which it could be argued that the police should be involved in support NHS processes to implement mental health law.
  • Where there are NO ‘RAVE risks‘, it could be argued that there is no statutory responsibility for the police to undertake health or social care functions;
  • Whether the police then choose to do so, will be case by case, in light of other demands and in line with the Chief Constable’s views on how to deploy their officers.

Winner of the President’s Medal,
the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Winner of the Mind Digital Media Award


All opinions expressed are my own – they do not represent the views of any organisation.
(c) Michael Brown, 2012

I try to keep this blog up to date, but inevitably over time, amendments to the law as well as court rulings and other findings from inquests and complaints processes mean it is difficult to ensure all the articles and pages remain current.  Please ensure you check all legal issues in particular and take appropriate professional advice where necessary.

Government legislation website – http://www.legislation.gov.uk


2 thoughts on “Quick Guide – RAVE Risks

  1. As I said before I think this is great. I wonder if the V could also include vulnerable, that way the mnemonic could be used for all eventuallities such as missing persons or other MH situations. There may not be a statutory responsibility for us to support someone in a crisis in their own home or to assist in locating an informal person who has left a hospital however we would and we do because we have a duty to protect vulnerable people.

    1. I think that is going beyond the point I’m trying to make: I’m referring to situations which are entirely health and social care processes, being instigated and led by health and social care professionals. I’m not referring to situations where health / social care situations have escalated to a crisis which requires a police led, often urgent response to mitigate risks to vulnerable people.

      So I totally agree: the police have a duty to protect vulnerable people, but the mnemonic is trying to get at “when do the police become involved in supporting those NHS situations?”

      So for example, contact from EDT at 11pm that they have found out someone someone is “imminently at risk” and needs a police safe and well, is already a police responsibility so we’d do it because of the statutory responsibility to protect life. If a person was not imminently at risk, EDT would be putting processes in place to follow that up first thing the following day, for example.

      But if EDT were saying that because someone was at risk, they were going to undertake an emergency MHA assessment with one AMHP and a DR, then there is no automatic reason why the police would be involved in that, unless they had needed to secure a warrant or unless other, additional risks were involved. The ‘normal risks’ of such situations would be (or should be) manageable by an AMHP, DR, CrisisTeam and paramedics attending, assessing and then sectioning the patient and conveying them to hospital, if needed.

      Does that make sense?! Does that work?!

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