I find myself caught somewhere between incredibly angry and wearily lost for words.Â
A week or two ago, Sajid Javid – the current Home Secretary – pledged that, if he became prime minister, he would put 20,000 more police officers on the streets.
Speaking on the radio a few days ago, Boris Johnson suggested that â€œit is vital that they (the police) are properly fundedâ€¦ I thoroughly agree that we need more police out on the street.â€ In fact, he agreed with the suggestion that 20,000 more officers were needed.
Yesterday on social media, another of the Conservative leadership contenders, Jeremy Hunt, accepted bluntly that â€œpolice cuts went too far.â€Â
20,000 is of course the (significantly rounded down) number of police officers cut from forces in England & Wales since the coalition government came to power in 2010. (Actually, 44,000 is an even more telling number. Itâ€™s the one, supplied by the National Audit Office, that includes PCSO and Police Staff cuts.)
With two other officers, I once had to try to urgently ‘de-escalate’ a situation involving a suicidal man – most of us have had to do this at one stage and I’ve done it more than once. All the other efforts, thankfully, were successful, but this one wasn’t. The incident took place many years ago and I suspect it will be one of the few incidents from my career I vividly remember for the rest of my life.
The man involved had covered himself in flammable liquid and was suggesting he’d set himself alight – we knew he had a history of serious mental illness and were primarily concerned about his welfare, but what we couldn’t do (as police officers) was the one thing he wanted in order to be persuaded to put the lighter down: a guarantee he wouldn’t go back to prison for the serious offence he’d recently committed. And the offence was very serious, committed shortly after his release from prison after serving a sentence for a very similar offence, towards...
Did you know Coventry is the 11th biggest city in England? Itâ€™s bigger than Belfast and Newcastle upon Tyne and across the pond St Louis, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in the USA. We all know that right? Iâ€™m not so sure. We are a force with three large cities in Birmingham and Wolverhampton too. In any other force Coventry would be the biggest city!
Given the geography of the force itâ€™s quite possible you may never have even been there. However If you are from Cov you are, quite rightly, proud of the place.
In 2021 the rest of the country is going to get excited about the city because Coventry is the UK City of Culture.
This is a massive opportunity for West Midlands Police. I want to explain why this is important and get us thinking about how we maximise this opportunity. I want to do this now as in July weâ€™ll see the tempo of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games pick up and itâ€™s important we max out on Coventry first!
Only a tiny minority of the population has been or will be involved in a terrorist attack. Of these unfortunates a significant number has been or will be killed. In those circumstances an inquest would normally be held in order to establish the facts of what happened. Unlike court proceedings it will be inquisitorial not adversarial. All the government agencies involved will be represented by highly qualified legal teams funded by public money; your taxes and my taxes. The relatives of the bereaved will not be so funded. Legal aid is usually unavailable for such people unless "it is the public interest" and only after an intrusive and means tested process. That is one example of how our government hides its secrets. It is a disgrace about which most people don`t know or care. It is a prime example of how very rotten our governing classes have become. It is yet another example of the bedrock of our society disintegrating before our very eyes. But of course the MOJ has an explanation: "Our thoughts remain with those...
When I started proper work on the subject of policing and mental health, I had not the first clue where to start – there was no course you could ask to go on. I came to this agenda originally precisely because of my professional ignorance, but also my uncertainty and my fear – there was no personal agenda in the background of this. I’ve been asked more than once whether I used to be a mental health nurse – no, I didn’t. I’ve been asked whether I, my family or close friends have experienced mental health issues – actually, none of your business, frankly but I’ll restate that the essence of my curiousity fand frustrations was professional.
Without that first clue, I did what seemed instinctive to me as a police officer: I picked up the Mental Health Act 1983 and read it – then I read it again. I also read the Code of Practice to the Mental Health Act – and yes, I do mean all of it. When the Mental Capacity Act received Royal Assent and when it’s Code of Practice came out, I read those too – I’m a...
Earlier this month, Royal Assent was given to the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019. This is a very short piece of legislation and it is, as the name suggests, merely amending legislation for the Mental Capacity Act 2005. This post is a taster of what it means for police officers and paramedics in particular, especially in light of previous posts I’ve done which attempt to clarify terms like ‘deprivation of liberty’ and to explain the current section 4B of the MCA. This is the thing which talks about not depriving someone of the liberty where they lack capacity, except to provide a ‘life-sustaining treatment’ or do a ‘vital act’ which prevents ‘a serious deterioration in someone’s condition’.
This amendment stuff is not yet law – we don’t yet know the commencement date and this post is just an early heads up of what’s coming towards us!
I’m hearing estimates it may be late 2020 before this stuff takes effect and if history repeats itself, there will be little...
Insert "Richard Page" into the search box and you will find a history of one of the most controversial sackings of a Justice of the Peace in living memory. The posts, the most recent of which was earlier this year on January 7th, need no explanation; they speak for themselves. It seems the final chapter of this story has been written. An employment appeal tribunal has ruled that he was rightly dismissed. Readers will have their own opinion on the decision made earlier this week.