The Main Resources

This is a page of resources for those officers who operate in the specialism of mental health – street triage, force mental health leads and so on. Reference materials, guides and further, wider reading materials.

This might be useful to have easy access quickly and it may be interesting to other police officers or non-police professionals operating at the interface of policing, mental health and criminal justice – but main audience here is those police officers who are up to their necks in this Venn diagram on a more-or-less daily basis and having to referee the particular difficulties, disagreements and uncertainties which can emerge!

It’s a quick access toolbox! —

  • HOW TO USE THE BLOG – you can search this thing, almost like using Google: sections of the Acts, particular terms or names (for examples of cases or inquiries), etc.. This links shows how you do that.
  • The Quick Guides – pages which summarise the objectives, legalities and considerations in fewer than 300 words, bullet point style and updated in 2020.
  • Case Law: the Top Ten – the ten most important specific cases which have appeared before the (UK and European) courts, on policing and mental health. This pages summarises each in a paragraph and gives you a link to the actual court ruling.
  • *NEW Preventing Future Deaths – a collection of PFD notices from Coroner’s Courts which touch upon the hard-won learning from adverse incidents involving policing, mental health and criminal justice.
  • A Dozen Little Details – particular references from the Code of Practice to the Mental Health Act (England, 2015) which help reinforce the point about certain practices to which the police become connected.
  • The Paramedic Series – pages written for our colleagues in green and something to signpost them to, if needed. You and they may find the pages on the Mental Capacity Act useful in situations where it is under debate.
  • Knowledge Check – this just boils it all down the the most basic, most essential things I’d want officers to know. Test yourself and see whether you’ve got it nailed down in your head!
  • Not Quite an App – this whole thing is done on free blog software so I can’t afford a grand(!) on an App for mobile devices. This post shows you how to create something that almost amounts to the same thing, on any smartphone so you’ve always got stuff at your fingertips.
  • CPS Prosecution Guidance (Victims with mental health conditions) – considerations around the evidence of vulnerable victims and witness, arising from their mental health.
  • CPS Prosecution Guidance (Suspects with mental health conditions) – guidance on evidence and information relating to vulnerable suspects, and in particular the concept of ‘capacity’.


If you really do want to fill your boots with this stuff and do the background and wider reading, there are some other pages you can use to access a load of reading materials, quickly and easily.

  • The Big Reports – all the major inquiries, reports and reviews from the last decade or more, hyperlinked on one page for your convenience.
  • This page contains the annual reviews of the MHA (England and Wales) and importantly, it contains links to various clinical guidelines on acute, mental health emergencies, restraint and policies on prosecution.

And if you’re really going to go large on this stuff, you might want to start reading other books on the wider topics:

Note of caution: go to a library and borrow them: otherwise you’ll bankrupt your family! –

  • Mental Health and Crime, by Professor Jill PEAY (2010)
  • Our Necessary Shadow, by Professor Tom BURNS (2014)
  • Doctoring in the Mind by Professor Richard BENTALL (2010)
  • A Sociology of Mental Health and Illness by Professor Anne ROGERS and David PILGRIM (2014)
  • Mental Health Law: policy and practice by Professors Peter BARTLETT and Ralph SANDLAND (2014).
  • The Mental Health Act Manual by Professor Richard JONES (22nd edition, 2020)
  • Mental Health Law by Rt Hon Lady Hale (2018)

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 OBE, 2021

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 –