Posts Tagged ‘Winston Churchill Fellowship’

 

Mark Walsh (back) and a Youth Court USA style

Mark Walsh (back) and a Youth Court USA style

I was delighted to see police officer, Mark Walsh appear on BBC Breakfast this Friday to talk about Hampshire Police Force’s ground breaking use of Community Youth Courts. I’d been impressed by the way they worked back in 1995 when I’d visited them as part of my Churchill Fellowship. As I munched my cereal, I wasn’t surprised to hear Mark say how well these courts, administered by young people volunteers, were working to stop young first time offenders’ further involvement in crime. What did surprise and please me was when Mark told the programme how he’d developed the idea after his own Churchill Fellowship to the USA in 2013. It reminded me what a brilliant opportunity Churchill Fellowships provide. My Fellowship was about communities working with police, businesses and local councils to make their streets safer places to live in and my research, like Mark’s, was used to set up a new approach to community policing.

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust fund the Fellowships for UK citizens to investigate such ground-breaking practice in other countries and return with innovative ideas to benefit their community or profession. The categories for Fellowships for 2016 include ‘Mental health – Community Based Innovation’; ‘Environment, Sustainable Living and Horticulture’ and ‘Crafts and Makers – and the deadline for applications is the 22nd of September. For more information check out the link below:

Churchill Fellowships WCMT-logo

I was delighted to hear about a new police and mental health project on this morning’s news. Leicestershire police have partnered up with mental health professionals to run the ‘Leicestershire and Rutland mental health triage car scheme’. As a result the number of people with mental illness detained in custody has fallen by two thirds in the last two years.

Mental health practioner, Emma McCann and PC Alex Crisp, part of the triage team

Mental health practioner, Emma McCann and PC Alex Crisp, part of the triage team

Mental health nurses, like Emma McCann, accompany police officers to attend incidents or advise them over the phone. This has reduced inappropriate detention and distress for both mentally ill people and officers but it has saved police time, reducing the average time spent on detaining people from 8 hours to 5. The mental health professionals are also available in custody suites for 18 hours a day, 7 days a week and provide specialist support for children and young people.

 

CAPSWhen more police time than ever is spent dealing with people with mental illness and HM Inspectors of Constabulary and Prisons are concerned about the large and increasing numbers detained in police cells – this is a brilliant idea. I am not surprised Leicestershire police have been piloting this groundbreaking project. When I was Regional Advisor for the Home Office in the East Midlands, it was Leicestershire police who piloted the ‘Problem Oriented Policing’ programme that I researched in Chicago (CAPS), bringing police officers and local residents together to solve local policing problems. A programme which was later rolled out around the UK. So let’s hope this initiative is here to stay and doesn’t disappear like so many other successful short term projects.