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Mental Health Cop

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Not Enough of Something … 

23 Sep 18

We don’t have enough inpatient mental health beds in this country – but I might very be wrong about this, though.

ABD and the Ambulance Service 

22 Sep 18

I haven’t blogged for almost two months!  Various reasons – busy, on holiday, bored of saying the same thing over and over again … there are a few in the pipeline but I decided to put them all to one side to write this one, because…

Justice Delayed, not Denied 

5 Aug 18

On August 3rd 2018, Kaylsey Smithen was convicted of the manslaughter of his 46yr old mother, Janice, which took place in Birmingham more than six years earlier.

A Safeguarding Call 

3 Aug 18

The recent conclusion of an inquest in to the death in 2016 of Mr Luke Leggatt in Canterbury has given rise to a social media debate amongst police officers about the East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s reaction to Coroner’s process…

Telephone Triage 

25 Jul 18

A curious thing appeared on the internet recently: a preventing future deaths report from the Warwickshire Coroner, which has been sent to the Chief Executive of Birmingham and Solihull’s Mental Health Trust (BSMHfT).

Acute Intoxication is a Mental Disorder 

6 Jul 18

The longer I work on policing and mental health, the less frequently I experience certain things which used to hit me square in the face every time I went near the topic as a PC: a new piece of knowledge that leaves you entirely confused and…

Accountable to the Law, not the NHS 

5 Jul 18

On 12th November 2013, I wrote a blog entitled ‘Here We Go Again‘, following the death of a vulnerable man in Bedfordshire who we now know was called Leon Briggs.

Exacerbating Tensions 

30 Jun 18

I’ve had to ask myself recently whether I’m guilty of potentially exacerbating tensions or conflict between the police and mental health services, after a number of suggestions on social media and elsewhere that this is the effect…

CarePlan: Call the Police! 

28 Jun 18

We are hearing stories on social media at the moment, of patients who claim they were told to ‘call the police’ when they have contacted their community or crisis team for support as they recognise they are becoming unwell or at…

Twenty Four Hours in Police Custody 

26 Jun 18

Last night’s episode was a belter wasn’t it? … see Channel 4 ‘catch up’ on the internet, if you missed it: 10pm on 25th June.

Let’s Do The Maths 

17 Jun 18

Look back to when I joined the police are you’ll see that crime levels, measured either by police recorded crime or by the British Crime Survey, were much higher – but if you look at statistics on use of s136 of the Mental Health…

Capacity for What?! 

13 Jun 18

It’s rearing its head again: whether or not somebody has the ‘capacity’ to be a victim or ‘capacity’ to be a suspect.

The Forensic Route 

10 Jun 18

When we hear mental health professionals talking about someone going ‘down the forensic route’, they mean a patient with healthcare needs being managed under Part III of the Mental Health Act 1983.

Attention to Detail 

3 Jun 18

Last year, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published their Standards on the Mental Health of Adults in the Criminal Justice System.

My Health and Yours 

20 May 18

My healthcare, and that of my family and friends, is absolutely none of your business.

Interim Report: MHA Review 

7 May 18

Last week, Professor Sir Simon Wessely published his interim report after being asked in 2017 by the Prime Minister to look at the Mental Health Act 1983.

Interim Report: MHA Review 

1 May 18

At 10am on 01st May, the interim report of Professor Sir Simon Wessely’s review of the Mental Health ACt 1983, commissioned by the Prime Minister in late 2017, will be published.

AMHP Emergencies 

28 Apr 18

My esteemed blogging colleague the Masked AMHP has, in his latest post, addressed the question of whether AMHPs are an emergency service, rightly pointing out that a range of situations lead to demands that AMHPs suddenly jump in to action …

Policing is Not The Problem Here 

23 Apr 18

Policing is not the problem here: the extent to which we rely upon policing – that’s the problem.

Draft Mental Health Strategy 

8 Apr 18

This is an opportunity to comment upon a draft strategy for policing and mental health, which is being put together by Chief Constable Mark Collins, the National Police Chiefs Council lead on mental health.

Beds and Stuff 

6 Apr 18

It was being asked again last night, in the AMHP social media world as to whether Britain had run out of inpatient psychiatric beds.

The 136 in Custody Thing 

5 Apr 18

I said about eighteen months ago, that once the Mental Health Act was amended to unambiguously allow the use of s136 of the Act in any place that was not someone’s home, we’d see police officers considering its application in police…

135/6: Authorising Officers 

3 Apr 18

Short post mainly for those ranking officers who have statutory roles to play under the revised Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA) provisions which focus on those rare occasions where custody is still used as a Place of Safety under the Act.

Making the Same Mistakes 

2 Apr 18

I woke up this morning to a tag on Twitter from Australia drawing my attention to questions being asked following an encounter between Victoria Police in Melbourne and a mentally vulnerable man referred to as ‘John’.


19 Mar 18

All of us who use Twitter are probably guilty on occasion of wanting to shout up about a job to highlight something we see as important – a success story where someone was helped, a criminal caught, officers who’ve acted bravely…

Pre-Identifying 135 “Beds” 

7 Mar 18

A little lack of knowledge can be a dangerous thing – A couple of years ago, I learned of a perculiar incident in a police force area that would have made a great blog to emphasise a point, but it was so specific, I withheld from doing…

Somewhere, Out There 

26 Feb 18

Chief Superintendent John Sutherland is a leader – we know this, because people follow him and listen keenly to what he has to say.

Twenty Years and Counting 

19 Feb 18

I recently passed a professional and personal milestone, having joined the police service twenty years ago and I hope to receive an email soon outlining I’ve qualified for a Long Service, Good Conduct medal.

Liable To Be Detained 

8 Feb 18

An AMHP and two doctors, one of whom is s12 approved, attend a patient’s home following concerns about their mental health deteriorating.

Keep Your Eye on the Ball 

27 Jan 18

You’ll remember I’ve been banging on for a number of years now about the problem of people being in police custody for many hours or even for many days, waiting for Mental Health Act assessment, or more usually waiting for a mental…

Condition Orange 

11 Jan 18

On Monday in the House of Commons, questions to the Home Office occupied some of the afternoon.

Much Less Blogging 

4 Jan 18

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.


3 Jan 18

Compare and contrast the following two pieces of law – Section 136(2) says someone removed to a Place of Safety may be taken there to be examined by a registered medical practitioner and interviewed by an Approved Mental Health Professional…


26 Dec 17

I wrote this post in June 2016 and simply forgot to publish it.

I’m a Mental Health Professional 

26 Dec 17

I’m a mental health professional – but I didn’t realise this when I first joined the police.

Place of Safety Stuff 

19 Dec 17

We’ve been playing with the newly amended police powers under the Mental Health Act for over a week now – I say ‘playing’ because it seems there are various kinds of games going on from the early feedback I’ve …

The Same But Different 

14 Dec 17

Norman Lamb MP wrote to his local police force recently, asking about those kinds of cases I’ve been banging on for years now: people being held in custody for hours and hours, if not days and days, following their arrest for an alleged…

PaCA – The Integrity Test 

5 Dec 17

It’s getting really close now, isn’t it?! – just six days until the amendments to the Mental Health Act kick in and my phone is ringing red-hot with questions and queries about various scenarios that are occurring to people…

PaCA – Brace For Impact 

2 Dec 17

This blog is part of the series which will cover, in detail, the amendments to the Mental Health Act 1983 within the Policing and Crime Act 2017.

PaCA – Summary Videos 

1 Dec 17

This blog is part of the series which will cover, in detail, the amendments to the Mental Health Act 1983 within the Policing and Crime Act 2017.

PaCA – What is a Place of Safety? 

25 Nov 17

This blog is part of the series which will cover, in detail, the amendments to the Mental Health Act 1983 within the Policing and Crime Act 2017.

Seni’s Law 

16 Nov 17

Earlier this month, Steve Reed MP, introduced a private member’s bill to the House of Commons which is being informally referred to as Seni’s Law – the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Bill 2017.

PaCA – The ‘What If’ Questions 

13 Nov 17

This blog is part of the series which will cover, in detail, the amendments to the Mental Health Act 1983 within the Policing and Crime Act 2017.

Inspector to Inspector 

6 Nov 17

I’ve been a police inspector for most of my service – about fifteen of my twenty years so far.

Timing Is Everything 

4 Nov 17

In 2016, the Welsh Assembly Government published a new Code of Practice to the Mental Health Act 1983.

Half Hour Checks  

2 Nov 17

Well, it’s all now official: the Mental Health Act 1983 will be amended by the provisions in the Policing and Crime Act 2017 with effect from midnight on 11th December 2017.

PaCA – The Statutory Regulations 

31 Oct 17

This blog is part of the series which will cover, in detail, the amendments to the Mental Health Act 1983 within the Policing and Crime Act 2017.

The Angiolini Review 

30 Oct 17

Theresa May, as Home Secretary, commissioned an independent review in 2015 on deaths following police custody or contact and appointed Dame Elish Angiolini QC, former Lord Advocate of Scotland, to lead it.

Oddly Enough … 

27 Oct 17

Oddly enough … trying to wade your way through some of the most sensitive issues in all of public policy isn’t straight-forward.

Land of Confusion 

26 Oct 17

This week, two piles of data were published which touch on my area of interest: firstly, NHS Digital published their newly formatted data on the use of the Mental Health Act 1983 – new format will save £350,000 in statistics related costs, …

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