Policing the Mentally Ill: Addressing the challenge in NSW Police Force

Victoria Herrington, Isabelle Bartkowiak

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

    Abstract

    As a consequence of their 24-7 availability, police tend to be thefirst responders to many non-crime incidents, including thoseinvolving the welfare of people with a mentally illness. Policeattendance at incidents involving mental health consumers hasincreased in recent years. In 2007 New South Wales Policeresponded to approximately 21,000 such calls, an increasefrom 18,000 in 2004.There are concerns from police and consumer advocacy groupsabout the appropriateness of this response. In January 2008 theNSW Police Force commenced a pilot program to train a numberof Mental Health Intervention Team (MHIT) officers in betterdealing with individuals suffering from mental health relatedsymptoms (particularly those in crises) to improve police capacityto respond efficiently and safely to such incidents. This paperpresents the NSW Police MHIT model and its evaluation againstthe backdrop of international best practice in the field.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCriminology
    Subtitle of host publicationLinking theory, policy and practice
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    PublisherANZSOC
    Pages54
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    EventAnnual Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology Conference - Canberra, ACT, Australia
    Duration: 26 Nov 200828 Nov 2008

    Conference

    ConferenceAnnual Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology Conference
    CountryAustralia
    Period26/11/0828/11/08

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