Black Country news and blogs Friday 1 April 2016
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Mental Health Cop

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PFD Report 

17 Mar 16

Where a Coroner concludes an inquest they are entitled to issue a ‘Preventing Future Deaths’ order making recommendations to relevant agencies where they feel that minimises the likelihood of similar, future tragedies.

Police Use of Force 

8 Mar 16

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has today published it’s report on the Police Use of Force.

Legal Education 

6 Mar 16

In 2015 we’ve had the second year of our Concordat in England, the launch of a Welsh Crisis Care Concordat, yet more thematic reviews of various kinds and ever more inquiry reports to read through – and we’re still seeing …

The Nineteen Fifties 

4 Mar 16

You remember Britain in the nineteen fifties … the Suez Crisis, the Korean War and the Queen actually having to make a constintutional decision about the appointment of a Prime Minister following the resignation of Sir Anthony EDEN…

Only Following Orders! 

24 Feb 16

I have had lots of conversations, emails and indeed tweets over the years with police officers about reliance upon the Mental Capacity Act to justify intervening where other professionals have declared someone to lack capacity about some medical…

Shouting at the Rain 

16 Feb 16

Did you watch Spotlight on 15th February – this is the BBC regional news for south-west England … why would you, unless you live there?! There was interesting coverage of ongoing issues arising from the use of section 136 of the…

Thinking of the Future 

13 Feb 16

I’m really conscious that there will come a point where the focus on policing and mental health will wane – my view would be, it has already peaked and we need to capitalize on the time we have until the sun sets.

Do We Have Enough Beds? 

9 Feb 16

The Commission on Acute Adult Psychiatric Care has published its final report! – and the publication was headline news on BBC Breakfast this morning with a range of people welcoming its findings.

Reforming the Mental Health Act 

8 Feb 16

A parliamentary bill containing proposals to amend the Mental Health Act 1983 will be brought by the Home Office to Parliament in the next few months.


30 Jan 16

Last Friday the Royal College of Psychiatrists, in conjunction with the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, launched the ‘CLEAR’ campaign, concerning mental health emergencies – see the poster, above.


29 Jan 16

This is a guest post by Em, or @DrEm_79 from Twitter – our various discussions on there made me realise she has a lot to say that is important and relevant for police officers responding to mental health crisis incidents.

Subcontracting Responsibility 

27 Jan 16

It was several years ago that I first sat in a room listening to a mental health professional delivering legal training to the police about mental health and capacity law and found myself thinking, “But that’s not right!” …

Mental Health Act Admission 

24 Jan 16

This short post covers the main admission frameworks of the Mental Health Act 1983, in limited detail for the benefit of police officers and the public.

No Legal Duty 

20 Jan 16

You may remember at the end of last year there was an inquest in York into the death in a police station of Toni SPECK whilst detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act? … the jury decided, on the balance of probabilities, that…

Scots Law on Mental Health 

17 Jan 16

I’m off to Scotland on Monday and half hoping the weather warnings we’re just hearing about might mean I get stuck there! I’m originally from the very north of England so a lot of my childhood memories involve holidays and…

Sessay Situations 

12 Jan 16

I haven’t ever written a blog on the SESSAY judgment from 2010.

A Benign Presence 

10 Jan 16

Have you ever had an unexpected knock on your door from the police? I haven’t, thankfully – and long may it remain to be so.

PACE For Beginners – Part 4 

31 Dec 15

Two vignettes to supplement the previous narratives in series of BLOGS on PACE For Beginners – both hypothetical and based around parts of various incidents from my own experience — SHOPLIFTER 1000hrs on Day One – Suspect …

PACE For Beginners – Part 3 

31 Dec 15

This is the third in a series of posts explicating the vagaries of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) – Part One covered the general legal basis of detention in custody, the timescales for detention without charge and general…

PACE For Dummies – Part 2 

31 Dec 15

This is the second post to explicate the mysteries of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

PACE For Dummies – Part 1 

30 Dec 15

If you’re a police officer, you can probably stop reading already – this one is not really for you! Now, if you’re a dummy … no, sorry: if you’re a mental health professional, then this is more-or-less at your …

The Rising Use of Taser 

27 Dec 15

Today has seen media coverage about Taser use after Freedom of Information applications by the Justice Gap: it takes usagain into the difficult and extremely sensitive debate about the use of this controversial item and makes us focus more …

Explaining and Understanding 

24 Dec 15

Every now and then, from time to time, I really do wonder whether I’m actually just wasting my time here? Since I’ve spent sixteen months at the College of Policing, I’m almost exactly half-way through my current secondment…

Acute Behavioural Disorder 

17 Dec 15

You’ve may heard the term ‘Excited delirium’? I wrote a blog on it a few years ago.

Capacity to Consent 

13 Dec 15

This BLOG has been some months in the thinking and and making, including the need for me to pin down several people for a discussion.

Recognising Vulnerability 

11 Dec 15

I recently saw a police training video on social media from Epilepsy Action UK, aiming to raise awareness of the forty or more different kinds of epileptic seizures.

A Factor of Ten 

9 Dec 15

Today is the Opposition Day debate in the House of Commons and I type this as I watch it on my iPad.


7 Dec 15

I first suspected that Muhaydin MIRE, the man arrested for attempted murder at Leytonstone Underground station on Saturday night, had mental health problem when I saw the videos of the seconds leading up to his arrest.

A Little Humility 

3 Dec 15

As with buses coming in groups of three after you’ve waited half an hour, I tend to find issues highlighted to me at the College come in groups.

The Yorkshire Ripper and Section 50 MHA 

1 Dec 15

Is Peter SUTCLIFFE the most infamous personality in British criminal history? – certainly in recent criminal history; and every time something happens in his ongoing detention, it attracts significant attention.

Serotonin Syndrome 

29 Nov 15

If you are a police officer who has ever used s136 of the Mental Health Act 1983, have you ever heard of serotonin syndrome and would you know how to recognise this potentially fatal condition which can have a rapid onset? No, me neither.

Three Days In Custody 

23 Nov 15

I woke recently to find a story in my social media news-stream that caught my attention – such things happen quite a lot, to be honest, but the BLOG has now been going for so long that I don’t find time to highlight and deconstruct…

Assaults and Medical Factors 

20 Nov 15

A brief BLOG, because nothing I’m going to write here says anything new at all about assaults on NHS staff, it’s just that latest figures on this topic show we’re really still no further forward! The 2014/15 figures for assaults…

Draft College Guidance 

16 Nov 15

The College of Policing has now released, for public consultation, draft guidance on policing and mental health – known as Approved Professional Practice.


14 Nov 15

Earlier this week, the British High Commission in Windhoek, Namibia put out a press release about a joint initiative by the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) in Namibia and the College of Policing in the United Kingdom – it concerned mental…

18th November 2015 

15 Oct 15

Claire ANDRE from Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW) is the only ‘police liaison mental health nurse’ in the country – a coordinating role in her trust to work on all issues that interface with the police…


10 Oct 15

Working as a police officer has forced me to be a part of some of the most unbelievable indignities I’ve ever seen and I wasn’t a willing participant in many of them – and unfortunately the worst of them have been mental health…

Forcing Entry for Welfare Checks 

9 Oct 15

Another BLOG to reinforce points that have been made by the police for some years now: we have no legal  powers whatsoever in private premises under the Mental Health Act and we cannot force entry to someone’s private premises in…

Clinical Commissioning Groups 

3 Oct 15

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) were introduced by the Health & Social Care Act 2012 – they are now the bodies in England which are responsible, ultimately, for healthcare.

No Warrant Required 

1 Oct 15

I pen this BLOG post on behalf of AMHPs in England and Wales! – they seem a touch ground down by the Old Bill and I offered to write this as I am rather bored in a London hotel room whilst working down here for a couple of days.

Immediate Need 

28 Sep 15

The discussion about street triage continues and I’ve deliberately stayed clear of much of it, acutely conscious as I am that my views on the whole thing usually go down like a lead balloon just after they’ve been misunderstood …

Northern Ireland 

19 Sep 15

This week I spent some time in Northern Ireland, a place I’d never been before.

You Remember the Concordat? 

7 Sep 15

You may remember the Crisis Care Concordat from early 2014? – very much led by Normal LAMB MP, who was then Minister of State for Mental Health.

The ‘Civil’ Sections 

30 Aug 15

Nearly four years in to writing this BLOG and I’ve never done a post explaining the main inpatient provisions under the Mental Health Act.

Section 137 Mental Health Act 

29 Aug 15

Where do the legal powers come from in the Mental Health Act 1983? – by this question I mean: what section of the Act do you point to when cross-examined in a court to explain from exactly where you derive the authority to do as you did…

Not Quite An App! 

24 Aug 15

This post is mainly to provide a list of the internet links that I used to create my own quick-reference folder on my phone, as shown in the picture.

The Dogmas Of The Quiet Past 

10 Aug 15

I have absolutely no idea at all what was going on in the United States of America in December 1862 but US President Abraham LINCOLN took the occasion to say this – “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present…

The Disclosure and Barring Service 

9 Aug 15

New statutory guidelines, issued by the Home Office, come into effect tomorrow concerning the Disclosure and Barring Service.

What Does ‘Sectioned’ Mean? 

29 Jul 15

This post is mainly aimed at police officers and is intended to ram home what the term ‘sectioned’ means – every police officer in England and Wales needs to understand it, so they can adjust themselves accordingly if necessary…

Breach of the Peace 

26 Jul 15

It was in the Justice of the Peace Act 1361 that the foundations were laid for the common law complaint of a Breach of the Peace.

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