According to the World Health Organisation during their lifetime more than one quarter of all individuals will develop one or more mental or behavioural disorders. Given prevalence data like this it is not surprising that wherever they reside on the planet many persons suffering from a mental disorder, or as is more commonly termed in popular parlance a mental illness, are likely to come into contact with police at some stage in their lives. Indeed, research conducted in a number of countries suggests that about 10 per cent of all community police work involves some form of interaction with a person with a mental illness. From a police perspective these encounters are not only frequent but also often sensitive and challenging.
Despite the difficulties associated with this important aspect of community policing surprisingly scant attention has been given to the development of empirically tested and established best practice approaches to managing police interactions with persons with mental illnesses. The literature that does exist is principally derived from North American sources although more recent and interesting developments have been reported in Australia and the United Kingdom. The principal aim of Police Responses to People with Mental Illnesses is to seek to reduce this gap in the literature by providing an international overview of some of the latest research and policy developments in the field, and the challenges still to be confronted in many places in overcoming cultural and associated barriers to protecting the rights of the mentally ill.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Police Practice and Research: An International Journal.
1. Canadian Police Agencies and their Interactions with Persons with Mental Illness: A systems approach Dorothy Cotton and Terry Coleman 2. Tailoring the Police Response to People with Mental Illness to Community Characteristics in the United States Melissa Reuland 3. Current Trends in Policing and the Mentally Ill in Europe Rhonda Moore 4. Policing and the Mentally Ill in China: Challenges and Prospects T. Wing Lo and Xiaohai Wang 5. The Thin Blue Line of Mental Health in Australia Katrina Clifford 6. Police Officer Suicide within New South Wales Police Force from 1999 to 2008 Stephen Barron
Police Practice and Research is a series of books based on special issues of the pioneering peer-reviewed journal Police Practice and Research: An International Journal, which presents current and innovative police research as well as operational and administrative practices from around the world. It seeks to bridge the gap in knowledge that exists regarding who the police are, what they do, and how they maintain order, administer laws, and serve their communities. The journal is published in association with the International Police Executive Symposium (IPES), which brings police researchers and practitioners together to facilitate cross-cultural, international and interdisciplinary exchanges for the enrichment of the policing profession.