This is the official blog of Sgt Ellie Bloggs, a real live police sergeant on the front line of England. It's not the official opinion of my police force, but all the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't pay my salary.


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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Going MENTAL:

Newsflash: one person a week dies at the hands of the mentally ill.

Or, to use the official terminology: Somebody goes MENTAL. Fortunately, Thurrock Council has solved this crisis and in 2004 they announced that "There are no more murders being committed by people with mental health problems". Phew.

Back in Blandmore... After the MENTAL attack, the nutter in question is usually handed over to the police to deal with, whereupon the Mental Health services have little to do with him or her until he is sentenced to a Hospital Order by a court. If we are lucky, we can palm them off on the MH team as early as post-arrest, but if it is a murder we will be looking to charge the MENTALIST anyway as it seems to be the only way to force the Courts to do something.

One of the suggestions in the first link above as to how the Mental Health workers overlook these imminent attacks is the fact that they are apparently desensitised to the warning signs by constant exposure to MADMEN.

This is interesting, as I find that as a police officer, I get gradually more and more sensitised to CRIMINALS. On the few occasions I am on patrol in Blandmore, I amuse myself by trying to stop vehicles being driven by Criminal Record-holders, otherwise knows as "CROs". Only last month I stopped five vehicles and had a 100% hit rate. (To any CROs out there reading my blog: firstly let me congratulate you on learning to read and secondly, by stopping your cars I am not trying to HARASS you but to gather INTELLIGENCE. The first concept you will know well, the second perhaps not.)

Why does this logic not apply to MH workers? Surely they should be able to visit one of their regulars and think, "He's about to GO MENTAL. Call in the troops [ie Me] and lock him up!"

Conversely, it appears that I have become more sensitive to loonies instead, to the extent that I can diagnose them purely from the content of the 999 call made by their partner.

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11 Comments:

Blogger PC South West said...

I cant believe you posted on the subject of mental health. I was all but ready to post myself on this subject after an incident that I dealt with very recently.

I have to say the the Mental Health care system in our country in a monumental disaster.
Unless someone is a serial killing psychopath they are simply not interested.
A male is wondering around the town at 7am with only a net curtain with a hole in it for his head when yours truly is sent to assist a PCSO.
On speaking with this chap it becomes very quickly obvious that he is completely MENTAL.
With injuries to his body that he says were caused by him running around the woods on missions that were set for him by someone.
Not to mention the saga of the invisible mobile phone that was ringing in his pocket, What pocket!! let alone what phone.
Hallucinating constantly about a hoover that was fixed to the back of a car, I need not go on, you get the picture.

Two days later I am called to a violent patient in a hospital ward who has decided to assault a nurse.
Get there and guess who it was, you've got it, it was net curtain man.
Not only was he in a normal hospital word, but being treated for other illnesses not mental health.
I see it time and time again how people with mental health illnesses are being allowed to assault others and harm themselves.
It's near impossible to have someone sectioned and cared for unless they are almost a vegetable these days.
Care in the community I think they call it, what bloody care. More like cant be bothered in the community.

03 December, 2006 20:54

 
Anonymous theoldman66 said...

actually, they aren't interested in a serial killing psychopath; that's a personality disorder, not a mental illness, we can't treat it, back to you officer.

04 December, 2006 02:34

 
Blogger Midlands PC said...

They're right about psychopath bit, I'm afraid, there has never been a recognised way of treating psychopaths that works, apart from long prison sentences or a bullet in the head, if someone cannot be treated you are fooling yourself by putting them in hospital - I am speaking as a psychology graduate who actually managed to stay awake in his abnormal psyhology lectures, as well as a police officer here! The best definition of psychopath I ever read was 'someone who knows the difference between good and evil, but just doesn't give a shit'.
As far as those with mental problems goes, could not agree more. An officer I was honoured to call a colleague was stabbed to death a couple of years ago by a mental patient, when they later did his house under Sn 18, they found 18 months worth of anti-psychotic drugs neatly kept in a jar in his bathroom, the regular (?) mental health visits had failed to enforce the fact that he should be taking them, which would take 1 minute per visit, surely? And he wasn't even totally insane, he knew the difference between a baton gun and a Beretta when he was arrested, i.e. if you're looking at the wrong end of a baton gun, you don't absolutely have to do as you're told, whereas the same doesn't work for the 9mm.
And lastly a plea, if you're one of these naughty children who doesn't wear a stab vest all the time, please please please get in the habit, that awful, apparent low threat morning started out quiet and lack of a vest cost the life of a good man.

04 December, 2006 04:58

 
Anonymous Logan said...

Midlands PC said...
They're right about psychopath bit, I'm afraid, there has never been a recognised way of treating psychopaths that works, apart from long prison sentences or a bullet in the head, if someone cannot be treated you are fooling yourself by putting them in hospital - I am speaking as a psychology graduate who actually managed to stay awake in his abnormal psyhology lectures, as well as a police officer here! The best definition of psychopath I ever read was 'someone who knows the difference between good and evil, but just doesn't give a shit'.
As far as those with mental problems goes, could not agree more. An officer I was honoured to call a colleague was stabbed to death a couple of years ago by a mental patient, when they later did his house under Sn 18, they found 18 months worth of anti-psychotic drugs neatly kept in a jar in his bathroom, the regular (?) mental health visits had failed to enforce the fact that he should be taking them, which would take 1 minute per visit, surely? And he wasn't even totally insane, he knew the difference between a baton gun and a Beretta when he was arrested, i.e. if you're looking at the wrong end of a baton gun, you don't absolutely have to do as you're told, whereas the same doesn't work for the 9mm.
And lastly a plea, if you're one of these naughty children who doesn't wear a stab vest all the time, please please please get in the habit, that awful, apparent low threat morning started out quiet and lack of a vest cost the life of a good man.

04 December, 2006 04:58




I am aware of the tragic incident you speak about. I think it speaks volumes for the proffesionalism for the lads on Zulu Tango that they did not shoot the bloke.CS and the Baton rounds didn't faze him and unfortuanately Taser was not a tactical option back then. I feel he knew exactly what he was doing and is hiding behind mental health as a way to avoid taking responsibility like a lot of scumbags do. I think if he had honestly been off his head the warning that officers were drawing their beretta's and were about to shoot him would have fallen on deaf ears, and he would now be 6 feet under.

04 December, 2006 11:10

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sensible Policing Petition

04 December, 2006 13:57

 
Anonymous Ellee said...

The tragic thing is how the definition of being "mental" changes to suit government needs and its purse strings. These people do need professional help, yet their condition is often denied in order to avoid giving them costly treatment, that's how it seems to me.

I've written a couple of posts that involve police, it would be useful to have your professional insight, as well as any other roving PCs.

I've also had a lot of stick for supporting police amnesties on knives, saying knives should be banned, or made as difficult to get hold of as guns. I agree it might be idealistic, but if you make them unavailable, that must surely make a difference on knife crimes, which have soared 73% in the last year.

04 December, 2006 17:19

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Government decided long ago to close down secure institutions at a phenomenal rate to save money. That's the bottom line. Period.
It's not about 'care in the community', we don't buy that anymore. If more and more dangerous undividuals were incarcerated, then innocent lives would not have been lost in recent years.
It won't change though, because as the saying goes, "It doesn't matter which political party you vote for, the Government always get in".

04 December, 2006 17:58

 
Blogger PC South West said...

It's true that the government closed all the secure care homes for people who clearly needed them.
Although there were people being kept in them that didn't need to be, people with easily treatable conditions.
I was chatting with a custody sergeant about this today, he was telling me about the massive increase in 136 prisoners on the week they closed them.
The government responsible should be ashamed of themselves!!!

04 December, 2006 18:06

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with the psychopath bit. There has never been any way of treating them apart from locking them up. Essentially they just have a head full of bad wiring which no amount of medication or the talking therapies will change. As regarding care in the community or should that be care in custody, everyone knows the mental health system is underfunded and the Cinderalla of the NHS. After Patricia Hewitt said "the NHS has just had its best year ever", Trusts were in financial difficulties and needing to balance their books. I think you can guess what service was first in the firing line. Was it sick kids or people with cancer? Nope. Good old mental health. Let's make savings there because nobody gives a toss about them and anyway there are no votes in it. The pressure on beds in acute psychiatric wards are enormous akin to something like a juggling act. Patients who aren't ready yet to be discharged are to make way for someone even more psychotic to come in. It's ridiculous but it happens. The other trend is the rise and rise of the drug culture. Patients with limited insight won't take their anti-psychotics because those are the "bad" drugs but of course cannabis, crack cocaine and heroin are the "good" drugs. It's hardly surprising some of them kick off in the community. Depot injections into the backside are handy for paranoid schizophrenics and in combination with a Compulsory Treatment Order to ensure compliance. If they don't take it, then they get recalled in and if they don't agree to this then its warrent time and van time provided you've got a bed to begin with in the first place because without that, you've got nothing. Depot injections only cover the schizoprenics. People with bi-polar disorder have to rely on oral medication. Some will take it, some won't. Some enjoy the feeling of being high, having increased energy and feeling fantastic. It's a myth to say that all psychiatric patients when unwell are gibbering homicidal maniacs with hockey masks and chainsaws. All that will happen is when they become unwell, they become more disorganised and chaotic. However it's also true to say that some will carry weapons and are dangerous. If they're already detained, then its recall letter, warrent and van time if need be. However patients who are informal enjoy the same legal rights as you and I. You can't section somebody for the rest of their life. A lot of patients are terrified of the psychiatric system which can deprive them of their liberty just as the police can. They therefore go out of their way to avoid contact of any sort and eventually slip through the net. If they're informal, we can't force them to see us. If they tell you to fuck off I don't want to see you, then there's not much you can do. Patients like that will slip off the books. They won't keep their out-patient appointments with the psychiatrist who will them discharge them back to the care of the GP. Some months will then go by before eventually they come to the attention again to the psychiatric services usually by being handcuffed by the police because they've obviously done something and dragged back to the acute wards. It's a depressing picture but it's all too true....

04 December, 2006 19:36

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally speaking, I think it is disgraceful that the psychiatric services actually let THEM out in the first place. I mean they're free to murder innocent members of the public in their beds, rape their children and burn down their houses. Obviously they need LOCKING UP.....

04 December, 2006 21:02

 
Blogger michaeltvs said...

Believe me its not just your country that faces these issues, to one degree or another most western countries have exactly the same problem. We've had more royal commissions than you can poke a stick at in Australia about it and the best outcome i've heard is a 2% rise in funding allocation to MHS. We even had proper journalists (http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/) interview people in corrective services stating that prison is the best place for the mentally ill because its the only place they can get care and treatment.

08 December, 2006 12:07

 

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