You may or may not remember that a couple of years ago, I somewhat vented my spleen in a post which contained a list of all the legal myths and nonsense that we tend to hear at the interface of the policing and mental health. Â It remains the case, in my humble view, that we need to improve the standard of legal education across the 999 and related professions, not just around mental health law, but around the basic operation of the criminal justice system.
Little seems to have changed in those two years, so I thought Iâ€™d list them all over again with a few new ones! Â Things I still frequently hear from all of the relevant professions despite the fact that none of them are correct! â€”
I want to add a few more, that have emerged in recent times and in particular I want police officers to focus on the fact that the first of this new list is something that AMHPs are very frustrated by. Â So much so, that theyâ€™re actually laughing at us! â€”
We all need to try and raise the standard of legal literacy around these issues and just for absolute clarity: the wording of these bullet points is the wording of what is not true! Â I want to see professional practice influenced by greater reference to, use of and based on easy access to legal resources and therefore the law itself! Â But as a starter for ten we need each and every professional not only to take responsibility for their own legal knowledge, but also for stimulating a culture in their professional environments where emphasis is on legal literacy. Â This is not just about keep yourself out of legal difficulty, it is also about advocating for the rights of vulnerable people with whom organisations have contact because we read far too often about those rights being violated for the convenience of organisations.
I dream of a day when I donâ€™t hear this sort of stuff, anymore!