MENTAL HEALTH, DRUGS & ALCOHOL

#RU2Drunk Pilot

#RU2Drunk Pilot

The pilot scheme, designed to target the culture of excessive pre-drinking and cut alcohol-related crime, saw breathalysers distributed to 29 pubs, clubs and bars across Weymouth.

The project was jointly funded by the OPCC and Weymouth BID. Throughout, Dorset Police worked closely with senior lecturers at the University of Exeter, who developed the analysis and carried out the evaluation of the project.

Owners set an alcohol limit for their premise and door staff were able to use readings that exceeded this limit as an additional tool, supporting their own judgement when refusing entry.

In December, typically one of the busiest times in the night time economy of Weymouth, there was a 15% reduction in violent crime compared to 2015 figures. However, with full and consistent support from owners of pubs and clubs involved, it is hoped that these early successes can be improved upon further.

Results so far

Mental Health Provisions

Mental Health Provisions

As APCC Portfolio Lead for Mental Health and Custody Issues, the Commissioner, backed by over two thirds of PCCs nationally, wrote to Ministers to formally express reservations with regards to changes to the Mental Health Act 1983.

The Commissioner challenged the view that police stations or cells can continue to be used as places of safety for people in mental health crisis, in exceptional circumstances.

While the Commissioner welcomes the changes with respect of persons under 18 years of age, he continues to lobby Government to extend that same protection to all persons.

Read the full letter

Awareness Week Campaign

Awareness Week Campaign

This Mental Health Awareness Week, which ran from Monday 8 to Sunday 14 May 2017, my Office organised a campaign with the support of Dorset Police, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, South West Ambulance Service Trust and Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust to take that pledge one step further.

This Mental Health Awareness Week, which ran from Monday 8 to Sunday 14 May 2017, my Office organised a campaign with the support of Dorset Police, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, South West Ambulance Service Trust and Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust to take that pledge one step further.

One in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem in any given year. Colleagues in the blue light community are even more likely to suffer with mental ill health than those in other professions, and are less likely to seek help.

Having been in policing for over 30 years, the Commissioner has personal experience of the risks facing emergency service personnel when it comes to maintaining good mental health.

The OPCC issued case studies from frontline police officers and staff, fire officers , paramedics and nurses on Dorset PCC social media channels. Blue light colleagues shared examples of personal techniques used to manage stress, anxiety and depression. The positive campaign focused on providing emergency service workers with practical advice and new techniques to try to stay on top of mental health.

Check out @PCCDorset social media channels and search the hashtags #ITookHome and #ItsGoodToTalk to find out more about the campaign.

Read the full blog

Protect the Protectors - Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

Protect the Protectors - Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

A blog from PCC Martyn Underhill at the end of Mental Health Awareness Week highlighting a focus on police officer and staff welfare as well as outlining some of the current mental health work in Dorset

The pressure on policing is well documented. Police officers and staff often face challenging situations in carrying out their duties to protect the public. We ask a lot of our officers and I thank them for their ongoing commitment and dedication.

But for all the good work that is being done in the community, there comes a time when empathy and thanks are not enough to tackle the personal challenges that officers and staff face. We must ensure that mental health and wellbeing is central in all we do. We must ‘Protect the Protectors’!

Since becoming PCC, I have appointed a Mental Health Coordinator for Dorset Police to work on ways to reduce the impact on officers and look at alternative mechanisms to ensure that front line officers and staff are supported. I have also worked closely with the Force to develop a Wellbeing Strategy and improve the early diagnosis of PTSD through a peer support system for those who have been exposed to psychological trauma and I am pleased that we now more have more support systems in place that ever before.

But there is still more to do and that is why I have given £250,000 to the new Chief Constable to bring together best practice and activity that is already underway from across both forces; and to deliver a clear, consistent strategy and action plan in order to find the gaps in service and provide effective solutions.

Read the full blog >

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