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Mental health and policing interventions: implementation and impact

Eddie Kane (Centre for Health and Justice, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)
Emily Evans (School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)

Mental Health Review Journal

ISSN: 1361-9322

Article publication date: 17 May 2018

Issue publication date: 30 May 2018

Abstract

Purpose

Interactions between individuals experiencing mental health (MH) problems and the police are complex and may affect the way in which both parties react to and experience the interactions. The purpose of this paper is to examine three commonly used interventions to improve these interactions.

Design/methodology/approach

Mixed methods were used to examine embedded MH professionals in command and control rooms, Liaison and Diversion Teams and Street Triage. The authors also reviewed the use of Section 136 (s136) of the Mental Health Act 1983 (2007) during the period these interventions were deployed.

Findings

There was strong support for these interventions but also gaps, resource and operational issues that need to be addressed if they are to have optimal effect on delivering appropriate diversion from the justice system, reduce reoffending and improve MH outcomes for individuals. The use of s136 remained relatively constant.

Originality/value

Despite a recent increase in the level of investment related to these interventions the evidence base remains limited. This study provides baseline of research evidence for those who commission and provide services for individuals experiencing mental ill health and who are in contact with the justice system.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was funded through a grant from the Police Knowledge Fund (HEFCE, College of Policing and Home Office) award number: RR4809. The funders of this study had no role in the study design; the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; the writing of the report; and the decision to submit the paper for publication. The corresponding author confirms that he had full access to all the data in the study and had final responsibility for the decision to submit for publication.

Citation

Kane, E. and Evans, E. (2018), "Mental health and policing interventions: implementation and impact", Mental Health Review Journal, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 86-93. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHRJ-10-2017-0046

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited