Much of the past week has been spent promoting the work we do around young people and mental health.
Monday – Transition to Adulthood (T2A)
On Monday I was invited to speak at the Transition to Adulthood (T2A) convention. T2A is both a programme of work and a campaign for change steered by an independent chair and 14 leading health, youth and justice charities in the UK. Young adults are an important priority group for the police, both as victims of crime and perpetrators, research has shown that young adults’ importance to the night-time economy and stop and search means that they require a distinct approach.
As the ACPO lead on local policing and partnerships, I was able to give my perspective on what sort of operational police approach there should be to young adults. This emphasised our work on the Young Adults Programme, supported by the PCC. Grace Strong, from the Community Rehabilitation Company (probation in old money!) here in Leicestershire also spoke about our work across the force with partners.
The day was rounded off by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg interviewing me at LBC studios in Leicester Square! This was a rather unusual media request and continued the subject of policing mental health
Tuesday – Out and about
Tuesday was really useful to be out and about at Beaumont Shopping centre with, PC Joe Postlethwaite and the PCC, listening to concerns raised by victims of crime but also receiving lots of positive feedback about the work our staff are involved with. I was able to hear for myself the work of Youth Police Advisory Group in Force when the PCC and I met with them. They observe our training and improve how we work, enabling communication around what we do and how we interact with young people and reflect the approach of our other independent advisory groups for disability, LGBT and the Police Advisory Group for Race and Equality.
The Strategic Command Course for senior officers is nearing its end at Sunningdale with graduation only a week away.
Thursday/Friday – Mental Health
On Thursday I was invited to present along with Inspector Michael Brown of the College of Policing, AKA Mental Health Cop (@mentalhealthcop), during the partnerships week. Our presentations discussed policing in mental health and disability and highlighted much of our work on triage and liaison and diversion too.
This theme continued into Friday when I was at Admiralty House attending the launch of the Blue Light Programme. The launch was attended by senior leaders representing emergency service employers, trade unions, peer associations, support organisations and government. As Leicestershire Police have recently signed the Time to Change pledge, they were keen to showcase us as an example of best practice. I was able to say why we signed the Time to Change pledge, the impact of the action plan on the Force’s approach to mental health and why it is important for other emergency service organisations to sign the pledge.
The Blue Light pledge is aimed at the estimated quarter of a million people who work and volunteer in the emergency services who are at risk of experiencing a mental health problem than the general population, but are less likely to get support.