September 6, 2019, by Aleisha Turner
Police interactions and interventions with suspects flagged as experiencing mental health problems
Interactions between individuals experiencing mental health (MH) problems and the police are complex, and effectiveness of innovative support and diversion models in England and Wales not yet fully evaluated. Researchers in the University of Nottingham examined police interactions with suspects and measured the immediate effectiveness of police/NHS MH interventions. Data on police interactions with suspects with and without flagged MH problems was collected over a 15‐month period and analysed by the DRS team in relation to key outcome measures.
Results of the analyses were that MH flagging appeared to disadvantage the people flagged, despite the presence of theoretically appropriate interventions. Further research is needed to understand this. It may be that indicating this form of vulnerability if the person is not judged to qualify for a MH service is discriminatory and may even account for excessive rates of mental disorder among prisoners.
“The Digital Research Service added tremendous value to our research project overall. The team’s ability to quickly grasp the focus and complexity of our project was impressive. Their expertise and advice on design, analysis and academic write up was invaluable. We are already working with them on follow up academic papers and our next project major research project.” – Professor Eddie Kane, Director Centre for Health and Justice, University of Nottingham