Warwickshire Police is the force responsible for policing the county of Warwickshire, England. The area we cover is around 1,970 square kilometres and we divide this into two local policing areas: North Warwickshire and South Warwickshire. The North Warwickshire policing area serves a population of approximately 288,800 and the South Warwickshire policing area serves a population of 258,500.
While Warwickshire is predominantly rural, it also contains some densely populated urban areas, market towns and popular tourist attractions of Warwick Castle and Shakespeare’s Birth Place.
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
Warwickshire contributes to suicide prevention both internally and externally.
• Our officers attend persons in mental health crisis some of whom may want to take their own life. Officers will deal with the lifesaving emergency, and work with partner agencies for future safeguarding and support to the person in crisis.
• Warwickshire Police is initiating a mental health triage team (September 2019). A mental health nurse and police officer will review and triage mental health incidents providing the attending officers with specific information on how best to care for the person in crisis. They will also attend persons suffering acute mental health crisis. The benefits will be the best medical/police response to the person in crisis, resulting in immediate lifesaving intervention and better safeguarding. This will reduce future demand on the NHS and Police, and provide the ‘right service first time,’ to the person in crisis.
• We also work in partnership with organisations and agencies (NHS and Alex Cotton, MBE), to open the discussion on mental fitness and provide support for persons and their families affected by suicide. We have introduced/trained a version of the NHS initiative, ‘Balls to Talk’ (talking about suicide), to first and second-line operational supervisors, who have then cascaded the learning to their staff. We also provide bereaved families with support, signposting bereavement support from NHS, via the ‘Help is at Hand’ initiative, and the Kaleidoscope Group.
Internally we provide mental and physical fitness support:
• Occupational Health Department
• Welfare Support Officer
• Peer Support Group
• Mental Health First Aiders
• Health and Wellbeing Team, focusing on staff’s mental fitness, physical fitness, and demand management
• Wellbeing Champions – Front line officers to promote innovation and implement ideas.
What are your current priorities?
• Putting victims and survivors first
• Protecting people from harm
• Preventing and reducing crime
• Ensuring effective and efficient service
What challenges are you currently facing?
• Mental Health Triage unit – Set up, pilot, evaluate.
• Viable, accessible, useful support for officers and staff.