Mental Health Cop

SR3 There is, in my professional experience, a very distinct difference between restraining burglars or street robbers who have been arrested for offences and restraining patients who have been detained or re-detained under the Mental Health Act.  The concepts of resistance or aggression may be similar; the instinct of a police officer to contain the risks that arise from resistance or aggression may be similar, but I’m beyond doubt that arresting criminals and detaining patients are qualitatively very different.

It is the very fact that the two enterprises are NOT the same thing, that renders a similar approach to each to be far too crude.  It is also a false disctinction to differentiate based on the legal framework officers are applying: arrest for crime / detain MHA.  The approach should be governed by what we know about the person being restrained: arresting a criminal suspect for an offence where we know…

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