• Mental Health Decisions; what every officer should consider

      Williams, Barry; Jones, Steven; University of Chester (Police Professional, 2012-05-24)
      It can often appear to Police officers that they are damned if they do make decisions, and damned if they don’t in mental health cases. A culture has evolved that triggers decision apathy and defensive decisions that arguably do not benefit the Police, public, or the mental health arrestee. Decisions of this presenting complexity in whatever profession must be made and firmly rooted within the current evidence base, lawful, and also be reasonable in the given situation. It is therefore not unreasonable to expect officers to explain and account for how and why they acted as they did, and the frameworks (statutes/ codes) which should underpin such practice decisions. It is of paramount importance that Police officers are kept appraised of developments in mental health cases and how this crucially will inform, and sometimes correct custom and practice. This article in three parts aims firstly to refresh officer’s knowledge. Second, inform current practice and address practice from recent cases involving the police and mental health patients. Thirdly, and perhaps the most crucial through case examples offer a decision making framework to support operational staff in the right direction for mental health practice and defend practice challenges that may arise at all levels.