Evidence Based Policing

Each year 1 in 4 people suffer from mental health problems and mental health issues have a major impact on the resources of a range of agencies including the police, local authorities, the health service and the voluntary sector. It is estimated that twenty per cent of police time is spent dealing with mental health issues.

However, one of the key issues is whether police officers have the proper training both to deal with people with mental health problems and knowing how to record and refer on individual cases. There is a danger that poor treatment and referral can worsen the problems and result in people ending up in the criminal justice system rather than receiving proper care.

Core aims of the Connect project:

  • Enable frontline staff to better identify need and demand in relation to victims and offenders who would benefit from accessing mental health services.

  • Develop proper internal processes and multi-agency agreements which make it simple for staff to support victims/offenders to access the correct mental health services.

  • To support appropriate diversion from the criminal justice system.

  • Reduce mental health related repeat incidence.

  • Reduce the use of section 136 (taking people to a place of safety).

  • Better use of data, particularly North Yorkshire Police data, to better understand demand and to determining the commission of local NHS provision.

  • To change the culture in relation to dealing with mental health issues on the ground.

In order to achieve these goals, the project is developing a number of strands which include:

  • Systematically reviewing evidence of what works.
  • Developing a better understanding of interagency working.
  • Developing and evaluating training of staff in mental health issues and research methods.
  • Sharing our learning nationally through the College of Policing and other agencies.
I want policing and crime reduction to have the same relentless focus on evidence as in our medical and legal professionsHome Secretary, Theresa May
I am delighted the College of Policing is supporting the Connect Project through the Police Knowledge Fund. This exciting collaboration promises not only to build the evidence base, but also to develop the knowledge and skills of frontline officers and staff in a high risk area of policing. I look forward to seeing how learning from the Connect Project helps improve the police response on mental healthRachel Tuffin, Director of Knowledge, Research and Education at the College

Research Starts: September 2015
Research Ends: April 2017

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