We learned this week of Professor Sir Simon Wesselyâ€™s appointment by the Prime Minister to review the Mental Health Act 1983 and since then, he has spoken to my boss, Chief Constable Mark Collins, to ensure the police contribute to the debate about the realities of our work, the problems and issues we face from a legal point of view. The boss asked me to start thinking of points to raise for discussion â€“ not because we have any fixed view or are being asked to write any kind of Christmas list, but because there are probably certain debates we would hope Sir Simonâ€™s review might address that affect policing and the broader emergency and mental health systems of which we form a small but important part.
So these are not final thoughts, proposals or demands! â€“ itâ€™s just a list of things Iâ€™ve recommended to Mr Collins that we ask Sir Simonâ€™s team to consider finalising, one way or the other, amidst the much broader work that such a review must get in to. Police stuff is a growing and important, but nonetheless small part of the overall working of our mental health laws in the United Kingdom.
Here goes! â€“
These were first instincts, I already see debates, issues and problems with some of it, but I was asked to list some topics as mere ideas and so I threw in some that Iâ€™m against or undecided about! Please donâ€™t think this is me or â€˜the policeâ€™ lobbying for anything: they are debating points, only!
But let me know your thoughts, in comments below rather than on Twitter or Facebook.
Winner of the Presidentâ€™s Medal from
the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Winner of the Mind Digital Media Award.