You guys seemed to use the BLOG a lot last year, way more than any other single year since I started in 2011 and that was really encouraging on one level. However, I couldn’t help but notice the vast majority of the increased use was down to two things —
- The series of posts which related to the Policing and Crime Act amendments of the Mental Health Act 1983, introduced in to law last December.
- A series of posts in which I just said again the same things I’ve said for years, only in light of new events, seeking to ram home the same point as before.
There are now well over 700 posts on here – many of them saying the same thing over and over again and I don’t under-estimate that dripping like a tap is actually a necessary part of drilling home a message, particularly one that doesn’t always sit easily or appear straight-forward, but the essential messages in this blog are simple:
THIS BLOG – KEY ISSUES
- We need to take responsibility for understanding the law of the country as it actually is, rather than as it’s rumoured to be.
- We certainly need to know medical risks associated with any work which involves the compulsion of those of us living with mental health problems.
- We need to get on with our work knowing that organisations and their partnerships are not perfect, that we haven’t had enough training – we never, ever will have enough for the range and the complexity of stuff.
- We need to know how to police amidst uncertainty and contradiction, in light of all of the above.
- We must learn the lessons of history and, where necessary, teach them to others – one situation at a time, if we must.
- Police officers need to know how to police: regardless of context, training and partnerships. In fact, history shows the latter may confuse you and get you in trouble – you need to get your own head around this stuff from source material.
I’m going to be doing much less blogging this year: a very deliberate decision because a) I’ve actually run out of things to say, really and b) I actually do have other things I want to do with personal my time and I owe it my family – stuff mainly focussed on my own health and wellbeing, to be fair. Although I work on this now as a full-time job, most of the blogging remained exactly what it is right now as I type these words: personal effort in my own time after my family are in bed with the dog next to me on the sofa, listening to music as I do … my ‘Top Songs 2017″ from Spotify, if you must know – the Verve, if you want to be precise.
BORING MYSELF WITLESS
There simply isn’t much more to say for now – there is only the issue of whether we are going to stop talking about things as much and start doing things some more; examine whether we’re doing the right things and actually bringing solutions to problems – or not. That’s not something I can directly influence by blogging the same material over and over again and something as informal as blogging loses impact with repetition, making the same point again and again – so, feeling that I’ve done my bit, I’m going to try a bit less before I bore myself to tears.
I was told today that it looks likely my secondment to the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the College of Policing will be extended again so what I will be able to commit to doing is working my socks off at work, as I always have and on here, I will do something I briefly tried before a few years ago: a monthly update blog. Apart from that, I will probably restrict myself to particularly interesting developments or cases, any new legal issues that emerge and some stuff around the Wessely Review of the Mental Health Act 1983 as it unfolds during 2018.
I suppose you can sum up where I am with this stuff by the flippant sounding truism: “I can explain this to you but I cannot understand it for you.” I think that’s where my head is, although without any problems flippancy. There’s not much I’m ever asked to explain that isn’t covered on here already – so fill your boots with what I’ve already done.
Winner of the Mind Digital Media Award.