This is the official blog of ex-Sgt Ellie Bloggs. I was a real live police constable then sergeant for twelve years, on the real live front line of England. I'm now a real live non-police person. 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 (or didn't) pay my salary.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Carly is Mad

Carly Kerson is Mad. She is a bipolar schizophrenic paranoid delusional... look - she's MAD.

As Inspector Gadget will tell you, it is the police's job to look after Carly. It is our job to ferry her to and from mental institutes, to stand at the doors of said institutes to bounce her back in when she escapes. To scour the streets and rivers for her when we don't get to the doors in time. To bind her arms and legs and watch her constantly for twelve hours in the cells when she has one of her "episodes".

In fact, we police need to buck up our ideas. Do you know that there are custody sergeants up and down the country who refuse to have Carly in the cells? Who actually seem to think that being MAD is not a crime! Who suggest that if she is undergoing treatment in a psychiatric unit for people who are dangerous to themselves or others, that unit should take some responsibility for her welfare.

The police have powers to detain someone who is mentally ill, for their own or others' safety, and take them somewhere to be mentally assessed. In practice, the process works as follows:
  1. PC Bloggs identifies Carly Kerson eating toilet paper at the side of the road.
  2. PC Bloggs removes Carly to hospital.
  3. It's the wrong hospital. Not in the right postcode, you see. PC Bloggs takes her to the next hospital.
  4. This hospital only treats juveniles. And anyway the first hospital is always trying to spam their loonies off on the second one and they have Had Enough. PC Bloggs takes Carly back to the first hospital and refuses to leave.
  5. PC Bloggs must remain with the lunatic. There are only mental health nurses, padded cells and syringes of sedatives available, none of which hold a candle to a poorly-trained, tired and narky policewoman as a method of restraint.
  6. Seven hours later, Carly is sectioned.
  7. Twenty-eight days later, she has been miraculously cured and is released.
  8. Twenty-nine days later, PC Bloggs identifies Carly Kerson eating toilet paper at the side of the road.
And that's if the hospital bother to shut or lock the doors for the twenty-eight days Carly is there.

Carly Kerson is an intelligent woman. She has A-levels. She has a family that once loved her but now have no idea what to do with her. Carly is also extremely ill and maybe always will be. She deserves more than the police holding her arms and legs to the tarmac until she is screaming and terrified. She deserves more than a one-bedroom flat in a block of other ill people, with a "carer" whose job it isn't to put milk in the fridge, and who just calls the police if Carly isn't in when he arrives.

God help the people who are merely depressed. Who aren't violent or manic or seen wandering the streets dressed in a bath-robe.

Not even the police are there for them.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.


Anonymous Inspector Gadget said...

So, this happens in Blandmore too? Funny that..... next officers will be leaving comments from all over the UK saying the same thing! but then it's all fiction isn't it? these Police Blogs?

10 October, 2007 23:21

Blogger alanorei said...

Two questions (from a MOP) - or maybe three:

1. Is Carly's case commonplace up and down the country? (I get the impression it is.)

2. Does Carly's case and others like it indicate that whoever set up 'Care in the Community' (closing various secure establishments in the process, I believe) was only ever interested in saving dosh and was never bothered to think the consequences through?

10 October, 2007 23:34

Blogger PC Bill Sykes said...

Speaking as a fictional character, I concur with the boss.

10 October, 2007 23:55

Anonymous ted said...

Carly's case happens everywhere.

Things like when I was on patrol and found a young man wandering aimlessly around at 5am. He had been drinking but was not drunk. He had numerous fresh superficial cuts on his arms. Said he was ging to kill himself.
I detained him and took him to the local mental hospital. While waiting to be seen by the shrink he took the glass off his watch and ate it.
The junior shrink examined him for 5 minutes then said he wouldn't section him. He claimed to be unable to say whether his behaviour was due to mental illness or alcohol. He was on some sort of blacklist as a regular at the hospital after drinking. Now I know alcohol masks other syptoms but the guy was only a danger to himself. He wasn't violent or in any way uncooperative with us. It was a medical problem.

So my optioms then were
1. The doctor says he is OK. Let him go. Blame the doctor if the man goes and jumps under a train.
2 Arrest him for breach of the peace. That gets him to a safe cell until he sobers up and gets him examined by a police doctor.

I took option 2 and took the heavy criticism from the duty Inspector. He said I should have released the guy at the hospital. Of course that was only since the guy was now his problem and not the hospital's problem.

As always the police are the service of last resort. Hospitals and social work department are happy to say "not our problem" on many instances.

11 October, 2007 00:14

Blogger Metcountymounty said...

Would and NHS/health services version of PACE work?? I can see how it would place undue and unneccesary work and stress on the emergency side of things (A&E, paramedics etc) but surely knowing they would be held PERSONALLY responsible then someone like a mental health nurse, CPN, approved social worker or anyone else we regularly hear say "nah, that person isn't mad, he just likes the taste of his own faeces" might actually get their act together.

11 October, 2007 09:37

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just thank God you don't live in my town. The NHS is selling off the local 300 bed mental hospital so property developers can turn it into flats.

It's being 'replaced' by a 30 bed psychiatric unit at the general hospital down the road. Stand by for 270 former patients wandering the streets like something out of a bad zombie movie. We're expecting our first murder round about Christmas.

11 October, 2007 10:22

Blogger Curbishlyauto said...


1. Yes

2. Yes.

11 October, 2007 12:06

Blogger alanorei said...

Curbishlyauto said...

1. Yes

2. Yes.

Many thanks, most enlightening.

Our leaders could free up £200 billion a year to help Carly and those like her and fix a lot else.

But they won't, because they only care about themselves.

11 October, 2007 12:42

Blogger Seaneen said...

Thank you for the link. I am manic though, well, manic depressive. Never eaten toilet paper, though.

If you like my blog, could you add it to your blogroll, and I shall reciprocate? I am a girl, afterall!

11 October, 2007 16:24

Blogger Seaneen said...

You rock, thanks! *reciprocates*

11 October, 2007 17:05

Anonymous Dray said...

Not unusual Blogsy.

I retired as a Pastor - not too long ago, and we got (get) the same run around :(

It's a chuffin' mess, is what it is.

Ta for highlighting it.

11 October, 2007 21:00

Anonymous pcr said...

Our regular self-harmer never got sectioned; the shrinks at our local hospital were too clever. They diagnosed her as having a "personality disorder" and therefore not mad and unsectionable. Didn't quite understand the distinction myself, but then I don't have a degree in nutter studies.
However, I think the hospital were probably right.
She rang in several times a night, ususally when pissed up, and cut herself only when she was sure the police were coming and she was guaranteed an audience. Alternatively, she used to wander up and down the railway track, but only ever when the trains had stopped running for the night.
My pleas of "sarge, she's just an attention seeker; if we ignore her she'll stop calling" were given short shrift every time by the control room inspector, who used to throw in the killer phrase "we have a duty of care". In practice, this means hours of wasted police time every night spent dealing with this oxygen thief while the rest of the area's taxpayers are having their sheds and outbuildings ransacked by the non-settled community.
Can anyone explain what social services actually do?

11 October, 2007 21:10

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The downgrading of cannabis to class c and the increased availability of "skunk" is leading to a mental health time-bomb in this country.
More and more children are smoking this schizophrenic inducing, paranoia enabling, lethargic inducing crap.
I blame the politicans - who think the stuff is as safe as the resin they smoked at univeristy.
They are the same egits that introduced "care in the community" and released a whole host of lifes unfortunates on to the streets to cope for themselves.
Politicians - the root of all our problems...
Ricky G

11 October, 2007 22:57

Anonymous Tinker said...

Don't you have better things to do than interfere with someone exercising her lawful right to eat toilet paper at the side of the road?

Sounds like an extremely overzealous exercise of pompously inflated police power.

Go and catch some shoplifters, or something.

Leave her alone!

12 October, 2007 08:24

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think you're missing the point. that is exactly what the police would like to do. unfortunately, they get calls from the general public and once that happens they havwe to act - can you imagine the outcry if they didn't and something bad happened? if someone is chewing bogroll at the side of the road, they tend not to be too aware of things like traffic and the highway code. leave her there, and you might have a real tragedy on your hands.
obviously, she needs to be collected and treated by doctors. and kept safe and sound until she recovers.
which is how it used to be until the politicians decided to close our mental health institutions and allow seriously ill people onto our streets to save money.

12 October, 2007 09:49

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recall a case where a young lady from a closely neighbouring "Service" area decided that she'd hold a knife to her own throat on our bridge parapet over our rather dangerous river.

Before the Duty Inspector could find his "Nump with a Knife" protocol e-mail link she had been disarmed by response patrols.

She was detained under s136 and taken to our local Mental Health Professionals.

She wasn't drunk.

She wasn't violent.

She was somewhat upset, alarmed and clearly in distress.

In my opinion (I have a GCSE in Metalwork) she was suffering from some form of Mental Health issue.

NO NO NO! She lived in a different County!! PLUS, she's a regular and doesn't have Mental Health Issues.

She was binned by our local "Professionals" and told that she'd have to nip into one of her own County's hospitals in the morning (unless she was dead in our river (which, incidentally, runs into HER own county)).

A decision was made to lock her up to prevent a further Breach of the Peace (seeing someone slicing their own throat and jumping into a fast flowing river may cause our MoPs some alarm etc.)

Needless to say, she kicked off in Custody and now faces several Assault PC charges which will get thrown out after she's deemed to have Mental Health issues by her Defence.


By the way, if I put Stu Davidson's old empty work tray on eBay will I get done?


12 October, 2007 10:56

Blogger Seaneen said...

Can anyone explain what social services actually do?

Really, not much at all.

12 October, 2007 13:07

Anonymous Anonymous said...

whack it on there (but through a third party) :-)

12 October, 2007 17:11

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the occasions I took people to the local psychiatric ward after detaining them under the MHA and when I was told (every time) that they weren't going to section the person I'd taken, I would ensure that the full details of the person refusing treatment plus words to the effect of "I have examined......... and my professional opinion is that they are not suffering from any mental ailment" This was followed by a request for that person's signature and professional qualifications. In the majority of cases, I found that a second opinion was required after all and that a stay in the ward would be of benefit. It was amazing how reluctant some were at having their (signed) opinions written down, especially if it could end up as evidence in a court.

13 October, 2007 15:00

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something about this site really disturbs me; whoever did this is one screwed up, vindictive, resentful individual. YOU need therapy, pet. Aw, did you not have a happy childhood? Well get a grip, loads of people didn't.

12 November, 2007 20:21

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