Where the police justified in treating me like this or were they wrong?

Watch
headunderwater
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#1
Background: I'm currently detained under Section.3 of the Mental Health Act, in hospital [obviously].

Last weekend I absconded from said hospital and went missing for several hours. A missing persons' alert was sent out and the police were searching for me. At around midnight I became terrified because of a few factors (voices, impulses to kill myself etc) and called the police to tell them where I was. Within the next ten minutes 3 police vans turned up and two male officers twisted my wrists and arms around my back with such brutality to have caused marks. A female officer pushed my head against the wall to keep me restrained. Confusing thing was that I wasn't resisting or anything. They threw me into the back of a police van and emphasised to me that I wasn't under arrest, they were just taking me to a place of safety.

Throughtout the whole ordeal they kept me handcuffed to the back. When we got to the station I had to give them thumbprints and they shined some light over my hands to indicate if I'd been stealing. I was then ordered (at the custody desk) to hand over everything I had which I did without questioning them. They then put me in a video'd cell where they kept me for 4 hours before telling me that police officers from my area were coming to pick me up and dropping me at my hospital about an hour away from where I had ended up.

Anyway, that was fine. But then an officer came in and said he'd authorised a strip search. I have never felt more humiliated or fearful in all my life. I have a background of abuse and pleaded with them and cried and cried. I had already handed EVERYTHING in. They made me squat which was equally degrading and as silly as it sounds I've been having flashbacks to that. I know they were women officers but that doesn't make it any easier.

After I'd stripped and got changed into their clothes they said theyw ere going to transport me back. Fine. But they still, AFTER KNOWING I HAD NOTHING ON ME, handcuffed me tightly to the back and I was put in a caged police van with no interaction even though I was visibly upset.

I think the way they treated me was terrible. There was no compassion or empathy. They treated me like 'yet another nutter'.

Is that the way it always is or is this something I should complain about?
0
reply
Mackay
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#2
Report 6 years ago
#2
I'd expect nothing less, to be honest. You have to see it from their view: you've admitted you were hearing voices, so they handcuffed you for their (and your) own personal safety. How are they to know what you will have done? You may have handed in everything, but there are makeshift ways to harm yourself in the back of a police van. The strip-searching was wrong given your history, but again, there are rules and regulations and safety measures which they need to implement.

You have my deepest sympathy and empathy. I, too, have struggled with mental illness. I wish you all the best.
0
reply
headunderwater
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#3
(Original post by Mackay)
I'd expect nothing less, to be honest. You have to see it from their view: you've admitted you were hearing voices, so they handcuffed you for their (and your) own personal safety. How are they to know what you will have done? You may have handed in everything, but there are makeshift ways to harm yourself in the back of a police van. The strip-searching was wrong given your history, but again, there are rules and regulations and safety measures which they need to implement.

You have my deepest sympathy and empathy. I, too, have struggled with mental illness. I wish you all the best.
I understand what you're saying but don't you think it's a irrational error and misjudgement to assume everybody who's hearing voices is violent? I've certainly never hurt anybody else.

They knew about my history too because they said something like "we know your background but this has to be done".

I just don't understand why there was need for the strip search and the handcuffs; one would have been sufficient to ensure safety.

Anyway, thank you for your reply.
0
reply
Mackay
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#4
Report 6 years ago
#4
(Original post by headunderwater)
I understand what you're saying but don't you think it's a irrational error and misjudgement to assume everybody who's hearing voices is violent? I've certainly never hurt anybody else.
Yeah, but given the stigma surrounding mental health, they aren't to know whether you have hurt anybody before. I agree that they could have shown more empathy and handled it better - but it sounds like they were nipping the potential for trouble in the bud right from the off. Better to be safe than sorry, after all.
0
reply
EmergencyBagels
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#5
Report 6 years ago
#5
i can understand why theyd be somewhat wary, but it does sound like they were unreasonably rough and you didnt deserve that. I hope youre ok
0
reply
Limpopo
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#6
Report 6 years ago
#6
It does sound terrible but it is an illustration as to how any of us might find ourselves treated when the state and its agents decide that they wish to exercise control over us. One only has to recall the brutality of the miners strike and the poll tax riots.

I suggest that you make a formal complaint.

At least you will be able to elicit some kind of explanation from them.
0
reply
R T
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#7
Report 6 years ago
#7
(Original post by headunderwater)
I understand what you're saying but don't you think it's a irrational error and misjudgement to assume everybody who's hearing voices is violent? I've certainly never hurt anybody else.

They knew about my history too because they said something like "we know your background but this has to be done".

I just don't understand why there was need for the strip search and the handcuffs; one would have been sufficient to ensure safety.

Anyway, thank you for your reply.
If I was to defend the police I'd probably outline the following 2 points:

1- it is likely that there is a set procedure that they must follow in these circumstances, and as they are the police many of the rules and regulations were not written to give a lot of interpretation and individuality to cases like these. In many situations, the police aren't really supposed to function as other people first, but rather law-enforcers.

2- it is better (for them and for you) that they made the mistake of being too careful rather than the mistake of not being careful enough. Say it had been another patient who had a blunt instrument/ knife/ whatever on them and they were thinking suicidal or homicidal thoughts.
(I do of course realise that what you went through was still horrible - but alternative possibilities due to them not being thorough could have been worse).

I still don't like saying the above and you do have my sympathy here however, I still think I would rather the police edged on that side of caution in general. But I wish you all the best in making it through your illness
0
reply
Mackay
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#8
Report 6 years ago
#8
(Original post by R T)
2- it is better (for them and for you) that they made the mistake of being too careful rather than the mistake of not being careful enough. Say it had been another patient who had a blunt instrument/ knife/ whatever on them and they were thinking suicidal or homicidal thoughts.
(I do of course realise that what you went through was still horrible - but alternative possibilities due to them not being thorough could have been worse).
This is the point I was attempting to make.
0
reply
Chihiro95
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#9
Report 6 years ago
#9
(Original post by headunderwater)
Background: I'm currently detained under Section.3 of the Mental Health Act, in hospital [obviously].

Last weekend I absconded from said hospital and went missing for several hours. A missing persons' alert was sent out and the police were searching for me. At around midnight I became terrified because of a few factors (voices, impulses to kill myself etc) and called the police to tell them where I was. Within the next ten minutes 3 police vans turned up and two male officers twisted my wrists and arms around my back with such brutality to have caused marks. A female officer pushed my head against the wall to keep me restrained. Confusing thing was that I wasn't resisting or anything. They threw me into the back of a police van and emphasised to me that I wasn't under arrest, they were just taking me to a place of safety.

Throughtout the whole ordeal they kept me handcuffed to the back. When we got to the station I had to give them thumbprints and they shined some light over my hands to indicate if I'd been stealing. I was then ordered (at the custody desk) to hand over everything I had which I did without questioning them. They then put me in a video'd cell where they kept me for 4 hours before telling me that police officers from my area were coming to pick me up and dropping me at my hospital about an hour away from where I had ended up.

Anyway, that was fine. But then an officer came in and said he'd authorised a strip search. I have never felt more humiliated or fearful in all my life. I have a background of abuse and pleaded with them and cried and cried. I had already handed EVERYTHING in. They made me squat which was equally degrading and as silly as it sounds I've been having flashbacks to that. I know they were women officers but that doesn't make it any easier.

After I'd stripped and got changed into their clothes they said theyw ere going to transport me back. Fine. But they still, AFTER KNOWING I HAD NOTHING ON ME, handcuffed me tightly to the back and I was put in a caged police van with no interaction even though I was visibly upset.

I think the way they treated me was terrible. There was no compassion or empathy. They treated me like 'yet another nutter'.

Is that the way it always is or is this something I should complain about?
Was it a male that strip searched you? Because that's not right as far as I'm concerned. Also, you should never be strip searched unless you've committed a crime. All the searches/checks should have been completed at the hospital by hospital staff before you were readmitted. Their only job is to make sure you don't harm yourself or anybody else. It sounds incredibly dodgy to me.
0
reply
samba
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#10
Report 6 years ago
#10
Strip search should have been done BEFORE the four hours in the cell surely? :/ I can think of no plausible reason for them to do so afterwards.

Sounds like brutality and despicable behaviour that you won't be able to fight. It's probably 'within the law' but it's absolutely disgusting, and pretty much emblematic of what our police are like.

My sympathies though :hugs:

Never call or trust the police unless it's an absolute emergency. Sad reality really ;/
0
reply
morethanafeeling
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#11
Report 6 years ago
#11
That is absolutely disgusting. The state of mental health care here is absolutely atrocious. The police are absolutely retarded and have absolutely zero compassion and fail to realise they're dealing with a human being. They don't care about you. Under any circumstances, this should be considered illegal behavior by the police, under any compassionate governance, which we clearly do not have.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

What factors affect your mental health the most right now? (select all that apply)

Lack of purpose or routine (120)
15.58%
Uncertainty around my education (125)
16.23%
Uncertainty around my future career prospects (72)
9.35%
Isolating with family (51)
6.62%
Lack of support system (eg. Teachers, counsellors) (30)
3.9%
Lack of exercise/ability to be outside (66)
8.57%
Loneliness (81)
10.52%
Financial worries (32)
4.16%
Concern about myself or my loved ones getting ill (70)
9.09%
Exposure to negative news/social media (50)
6.49%
Lack of real life entertainment (eg. cinema, gigs, restaurants) (73)
9.48%

Watched Threads

View All