Carly is 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:
- PC Bloggs identifies Carly Kerson eating toilet paper at the side of the road.
- PC Bloggs removes Carly to hospital.
- It's the wrong hospital. Not in the right postcode, you see. PC Bloggs takes her to the next hospital.
- 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.
- 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.
- Seven hours later, Carly is sectioned.
- Twenty-eight days later, she has been miraculously cured and is released.
- Twenty-nine days later, PC Bloggs identifies Carly Kerson eating toilet paper at the side of the road.
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.