To arrest or to not arrest……

Yesterday we attended a male who has mental health and had been drinking and took an overdose. Ambulance had asked for our assistance as it was currently taking four of them to hold him down.
He initially agreed to come out and get in the car, but as he left the house he legged it.
He was rugby tackled by his dad and his brother.

Four of us initially attended and I managed to get handcuffs on him, and between us an ERB round his legs. He was very very strong and it was clear that if someone had attended the scene on their own they would have been seriously injured by him. He grabbed hold of my arm so tight and twisted it around, so with my other hand I hit his handed using my bottom fist. He shouted ‘ah who has f*****g punched me?’ I said ‘no one punched you’, then I heard a family member said
‘you did f*****g punch him’ and then others then got hysterical saying I had punched him. Joy. What I actually did was strike him with my bottom fist on his hand to let good me. He was so strong, and he goes to the gym most days, so a mixture of strength, alcohol, meds and mental health is a scary mixture.
A van was called on a Grade A, and about about 10 minutes later it arrived, meanwhile I was still being told to ‘go **** my mother’ and being told I was a ******* whore’ which was nice…

I felt the searing pain in my wrist and I was unable to keep hold of the cuffs, I had to get someone to take over and I went to direct the van. He was put in the van and I followed up to the hospital. It was agony. We took him up there under the ‘Mental Incapacity Act’ so we could detain him to get looked at and seen for his own safety.

I stayed away from him and his family as I was really not in any frame to be taking any further crap, and the staff were good as gold up at the hospital and took me in to a side room.
As I sat on the chair a colleague came in and asked if I was okay, and then it hit me and I could feel a big bubble of tears welling up. It was a mixture of what he had said, it was the pain, and the fact that this was now the fourth time in my career I had been injured. The adrenalin had gone and reality had set in. I soon pulled myself together as I thought ‘what a wimp!’

What to do? Arrest him for assault police or leave it? I had some morphine and an x ray and my wrist was put in a splint with an appointment for the fracture clinic on Thursday.
The effects of the morphine were kicking in and it was clear my shift was over as I was slurring my words, so I was taken home, and told them not to arrest……. I decided it just wasn’t worth it.
Why? Because it just wasn’t….. What was the point? Nothing would happen, even if he was arrested he wouldn’t get charged and even if he did nothing would happen at court…. He would say that it was his mental health and the medication that made him act the way it did, and perhaps it was but that is still no excuse and he should, being a young adult, know better, but I have just got to the point where I just think ‘I just can’t be bothered’ and that’s wrong to think like that? I don’t think so, even my colleague agreed with me.

Two days later and my wrist is still hurting, my heart is hurting for the swearing, which normally doesn’t bother me, and I am just hoping that there isn’t a fracture. If there is I will be so annoyed, and will be angry, but my decision is made.
Whether you agree with me or not is irrelevant, but I just wanted to get across the point that it’s not always about prosecution, and IF he gets help with his illness and can go through life not assaulting another police officer then perhaps he might just stand a chance, but who knows?

In the meantime, just keep your bits crossed for me and hope that Friday I will be back up and running on shift and get back on the bicycle, as if I leave it too long I might just lose the bottle and that wouldn’t be good, and I didn’t join the job to sit behind a desk, well not all shift anyway!


Fortunately there was no fracture, “just” soft tissue damage. I am lucky. The doctor wanted me to have a further 10 days off sick but I said no as I felt it wouldn’t achieve anything apart from boredom. The male was discharged from hospital and no charges were brought against him. (This time).

One Response to “To arrest or to not arrest……”
  1. Comeragh says:

    There are absolutely no winners with Mental Health Cases, you are totally in a catch 22 situation. Other services like to pass the buck too each saying its not their responsibility to deal so the poor chap ends up back where he started often with no sustained help in place.

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