Suicides after arrests by Sussex Police are on the increase

More people committing suicide after arrest being held by Sussex Police

More people committing suicide after arrest being held by Sussex Police

First published in News
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The number of people who committed suicide within 48 hours of leaving Sussex Police custody has increased.

A total of four people took their own lives last year compared with two the year before, the new figures show. The police watchdog is calling for improvements to the way people with mental health problems are dealt with by police amid a rise in such deaths nationally – from 65 to 68.

A Sussex Police spokesman said the force assessed detainees before releasing them and pointed to a successful pilot scheme in Eastbourne to reduce the numbers of mental health detainees.

He added: “We welcome the scrutiny of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and always carefully consider their views and recommendations for further progress in this sensitive area of policing.”

The IPCC this week released its annual report on deaths following police contact.

Dame Anne Owers, IPCC chairwoman, said police and mental health services need to work together more.

She said: “It is clearly important that the police are trained and supported to recognise and deal appropriately with those who are mentally ill. But they cannot do so alone.

We welcome the steps being taken to pilot joint working across policing and mental healthcare, and will continue to ensure that the findings of our investigations into these tragic deaths inform better practice and improved service provision.”

Under the scheme in Eastbourne, an unmarked police car crewed by officers and mental health nurses are sent to incidents where someone has mental-health issues. The aim is to identify people’s needs early on and divert them to other forms of support and treatment. Sussex Police said it diverted 17 detentions under the Mental Health Act in the first nine weeks of the scheme.

In comparison with Sussex’s four deaths, Surrey police had one apparent suicide following police custody, Kent had three and Hampshire had one.

Comments (7)

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8:14am Thu 17 Jul 14

qm says...

It would be interesting to know the difference between drug/alcohol related mental health issues and those that had other clinical causes. This just might help with future policies to try reduce root causes.
Education for front line Police Officers is essential. I have witnessed both unforgivable behaviour by individual Police personnel in the past and also tactful treatment requiring patience and understanding as well. The latter is likely to be the first casualty of an overstretched under resourced Force under the dictatorial threat of the dreaded spreadsheet, 'productivity' and the ambitious managerial lot trying to fit a quart into a pint pot!!
More funding is the obvious cry but that needs to go hand in hand with capable management. More front line Police Officers will have a greater effect than posh furniture and jollies by the hierarchy!!!
It would be interesting to know the difference between drug/alcohol related mental health issues and those that had other clinical causes. This just might help with future policies to try reduce root causes. Education for front line Police Officers is essential. I have witnessed both unforgivable behaviour by individual Police personnel in the past and also tactful treatment requiring patience and understanding as well. The latter is likely to be the first casualty of an overstretched under resourced Force under the dictatorial threat of the dreaded spreadsheet, 'productivity' and the ambitious managerial lot trying to fit a quart into a pint pot!! More funding is the obvious cry but that needs to go hand in hand with capable management. More front line Police Officers will have a greater effect than posh furniture and jollies by the hierarchy!!! qm
  • Score: 1

9:39am Thu 17 Jul 14

stevo!! says...

Why is it automatically assumed by people who know nothing about the individual that they killed themselves due to mental issues?

Some alleged criminals actually feel enough shame to do something about it.

Did anyone question West's or Shipman's mental state?
Why is it automatically assumed by people who know nothing about the individual that they killed themselves due to mental issues? Some alleged criminals actually feel enough shame to do something about it. Did anyone question West's or Shipman's mental state? stevo!!
  • Score: -3

9:59am Thu 17 Jul 14

NathanAdler says...

stevo!! wrote:
Why is it automatically assumed by people who know nothing about the individual that they killed themselves due to mental issues? Some alleged criminals actually feel enough shame to do something about it. Did anyone question West's or Shipman's mental state?
Or Hitler's!
[quote][p][bold]stevo!![/bold] wrote: Why is it automatically assumed by people who know nothing about the individual that they killed themselves due to mental issues? Some alleged criminals actually feel enough shame to do something about it. Did anyone question West's or Shipman's mental state?[/p][/quote]Or Hitler's! NathanAdler
  • Score: -5

10:25am Thu 17 Jul 14

Goldenwight says...

Even a 100% increase is not statistically significant when contrasted agains the total number of arrests made by Sussex Police.

What IS clear, however, is that a Poice cell is quite definitely not an appropriate place for anyone with moderate to severe mental health problems. And Police Custody staff are absolutely not appropriate people to be dealing with them. THAT is the problem which needs addressing.
Even a 100% increase is not statistically significant when contrasted agains the total number of arrests made by Sussex Police. What IS clear, however, is that a Poice cell is quite definitely not an appropriate place for anyone with moderate to severe mental health problems. And Police Custody staff are absolutely not appropriate people to be dealing with them. THAT is the problem which needs addressing. Goldenwight
  • Score: 2

11:02am Thu 17 Jul 14

RainbowG says...

Goldenwight wrote:
Even a 100% increase is not statistically significant when contrasted agains the total number of arrests made by Sussex Police.

What IS clear, however, is that a Poice cell is quite definitely not an appropriate place for anyone with moderate to severe mental health problems. And Police Custody staff are absolutely not appropriate people to be dealing with them. THAT is the problem which needs addressing.
I quite agree but where do you suggest these people are placed because if they are drunk or violent they will not be accepted by a hospital or even a mental health hospital and many times its not safe to keep them on the streets so although a police cell is not a great place to put them, it's the only place of safety available!
[quote][p][bold]Goldenwight[/bold] wrote: Even a 100% increase is not statistically significant when contrasted agains the total number of arrests made by Sussex Police. What IS clear, however, is that a Poice cell is quite definitely not an appropriate place for anyone with moderate to severe mental health problems. And Police Custody staff are absolutely not appropriate people to be dealing with them. THAT is the problem which needs addressing.[/p][/quote]I quite agree but where do you suggest these people are placed because if they are drunk or violent they will not be accepted by a hospital or even a mental health hospital and many times its not safe to keep them on the streets so although a police cell is not a great place to put them, it's the only place of safety available! RainbowG
  • Score: 5

12:25pm Thu 17 Jul 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

Now if it's people who HAVE sexually abused children doing this, I have no objections at all - in fact, it's the best thing they can do.
Now if it's people who HAVE sexually abused children doing this, I have no objections at all - in fact, it's the best thing they can do. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: 2

2:21pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Goldenwight says...

RainbowG wrote:
Goldenwight wrote: Even a 100% increase is not statistically significant when contrasted agains the total number of arrests made by Sussex Police. What IS clear, however, is that a Poice cell is quite definitely not an appropriate place for anyone with moderate to severe mental health problems. And Police Custody staff are absolutely not appropriate people to be dealing with them. THAT is the problem which needs addressing.
I quite agree but where do you suggest these people are placed because if they are drunk or violent they will not be accepted by a hospital or even a mental health hospital and many times its not safe to keep them on the streets so although a police cell is not a great place to put them, it's the only place of safety available!
And, like i made clear, it is NOT suitable. It barely even qualifies as a place of safety, and this is the point which must be addressed.

And you are quite incorrect about hospitals not accepting violent mentally ill patients- you've never heard of 'Broadmoor' or 'Rampton' High Security Hospitals? And there are others.
[quote][p][bold]RainbowG[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Goldenwight[/bold] wrote: Even a 100% increase is not statistically significant when contrasted agains the total number of arrests made by Sussex Police. What IS clear, however, is that a Poice cell is quite definitely not an appropriate place for anyone with moderate to severe mental health problems. And Police Custody staff are absolutely not appropriate people to be dealing with them. THAT is the problem which needs addressing.[/p][/quote]I quite agree but where do you suggest these people are placed because if they are drunk or violent they will not be accepted by a hospital or even a mental health hospital and many times its not safe to keep them on the streets so although a police cell is not a great place to put them, it's the only place of safety available![/p][/quote]And, like i made clear, it is NOT suitable. It barely even qualifies as a place of safety, and this is the point which must be addressed. And you are quite incorrect about hospitals not accepting violent mentally ill patients- you've never heard of 'Broadmoor' or 'Rampton' High Security Hospitals? And there are others. Goldenwight
  • Score: 0

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