“Remember, the police service have no legal authorities in private premises under the Mental Health Act 1983, limited ability to justify action under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and can only otherwise act by detention if there is a criminal offence of a breach of the peace. The most important thing, however, is to give assurances that someone is ‘safe and well’ where you lack the skills, information and training to tell – get NHS support and advice on this, always.”
It is currently flying around social media that the Metropolitan Police is being asked to undertake 5,000 “safe and well” or “concern for welfare” checks per month. I’m not sure whether this number is even vaguely accurate, but if even remotely correct that amounts to over 150 such calls per day across London. (My intelligence sources tell me that it is a considerable under-estimate!)
Not all of these will be mental health: some will be regarding the safety and wellbeing of children and others will concerns elderly adults who have dropped out of contact with family and friends, but some will involve adults living with various kinds of mental health related issues.
I’ve written before about the difficulty the police have in doing these checks and I’m not going to repeat all of that, but I am going to outline a clear model I have developed in my head since…
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