Victim Support - 787/18

Date Responded 05 September 2018

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

1.       The standard support/guidance information that your force gives to individuals who have been a victim of crime.

2.       Details of the ways in which your force identify potential mental health problems/vulnerabilities with individuals who have been a victim of crime.

3.       Any documentation that your force has in relation to working with victims of crime with mental health problems.

4.       Details of the ways in which your force identify any other potential vulnerabilities with individuals who have been a victim of crime.

5.       Details of the current training on mental health that your force provides to officers (and copy of the content, if possible). 

In Response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention. 

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted within Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police. 

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows. 

1.  Please see link 

2.  The force operates a street triage model where every day there are 2 teams on duty between the hours of 10am and 3am consisting of a police officer and mental health (MH) nurse who work alongside each other. They can be contacted by any officer to seek advice or help for any member of the public, whether they be a victim of crime or not. Each of the main MH hospital sites has an allocated liaison officer who works with staff and patients alike to assist with any crime related issues. There are also liaison and diversion MH nurses in all the force custody suites as well as Newcastle Crown Court who are able to assist the police in helping those who might be suffering mental ill health. The force has also designed a specific page on their intelligence system for MH to enable officers to have a better understanding of an individual’s predicament particularly if they suffer from a learning disability such as autism whose diagnosis will not change. This is due to be launched imminently. Officers are then able to treat the individual according to their needs and be aware of specific ways to deal with the individual. 

3. The force shares a relationship with Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Trust (NTW)  and regularly host training events together as well as shared learning from experiences. A number of joint policies exist to ensure that both organisations are recognising the best care for those suffering mental ill health. There is a multi-agency document entitled ‘working together’ to act as a best practice guide as well as information on dealing with taser incidents and crimes on MH premises. These do not specifically relate to victim of crime but more to anyone for which it is relevant. Northumbria Police work closely with Victims First Northumbria who coordinate follow up care for victims of crime and any MH related issue would be appropriately signposted. 

4. Northumbria Police is very aware that often victims of crime will have other potential underlying vulnerabilities. In order to identify these, the organisation has invested in the training of its workforce to identify vulnerability in all its different forms. The organisation recognises ‘A person is vulnerable if as a result of their situation or circumstances, they are unable to take care of, or protect themselves or others from harm, exploitation or other adverse impact on their quality of life’. It supports this statement with the schematic as the attached PDF document. 

The organisation also provides the following as part of its Safeguarding Tool kit. 

Indicators of vulnerability 

The following factors may indicate that someone is vulnerable;

• Repeat Victimisation (crime/ASB)

• Family Circumstances (e.g. marriage breakdown, terminal illness)

• Personal Circumstances (e.g. drug and/or alcohol dependency, homelessness, experience of trauma, bereavement)

• Health (physical, mental, emotional well-being including deterioration and indicators of self-harm)

• Equality & Diversity (race, age, gender, sexuality, disability, religion, nationality, lifestyle choice)

• Economic Circumstances (e.g. redundancy, unemployment, debt management, gambling)

Key considerations to identify vulnerability

Effective questioning is essential to identify vulnerability, the questions below will enable you to establish threat, harm and risk:

How often does this problem occur?

Does the victim think this is linked to previous incidents?

Are the incidents escalating?

Is the offender known to the victim in any way?

Does the victim think they or their family are being personally targeted, if so why?

To what degree has the victim or any other household member been affected by what has happened?

Does the victim identify themself as vulnerable or appear vulnerable (personal, situational as well as indicators of vulnerability)?

Does the victim have any support such as friends, family, social worker etc? 

5. Please note that it is not possible to provide a copy of the content of the training material used as this would require a considerable amount of time redacting and would take over the permitted 18 hours to compile.  Therefore, in order to avoid your whole request being refused Section 12, we have provided information below relative to your question. 

In line with the College of Policing APP on MH training, a variety of sessions have been delivered over the past 24 months with plans to continue rolling this out to a wide audience. The training covers a broad range of topics relevant to each role and is delivered jointly by the police and a MH nurse. It includes understanding what MH actually is, the different types of disorders there are and how these are viewed; personality disorder and depression are highlighted; what is a learning disability with a focus on autism; how to communicate with someone who is suffering from mental ill health; suicide, what facilities are available from the local MH Trust; dealing with crimes, drugs and violence on MH premises; finally a section on legislation. 

Diversity - Phase 2 - Mental Health Awareness (1 day)


Mental Health - Basic Introduction (1 hour)


Mental Health - Custody Input (1/2 day)


Mental Health – Firearms Support Unit Input (2 day)


Mental Health - General Awareness (1 day)


Mental Health - Navigation for Control Room (1 day)


Mental Health - Navigation for Control Room Supervisor (4hours)


Mental Health - RESPOND (1 day)


Mental Health - Strategic Overview (1 day)


 Briefing/awareness session: Blue light champion awareness session (1 day)

 Course: Achieve Programme – CPD Mental Health (4 hours)

 Course: Mental Health in the workplace (MIND) (3 hours)

 Workshop: Mental Capacity Act 2005 (3 hours) 

IPLDP (Initial Police Learning Development Programme) – There was an uplift in the Mental Health content on the IPLDP from September 2016. The below sessions are delivered during the 12 weeks initial training of a new officer: 

  • 2 hrs - Week 1: OHU input (officer & staff personal mental health awareness)
  • 8 hrs - Week 3: Mental Health in the community – Delivered by a Northumbria Police Expert on the subject and the Regional Mental Health Manager from the NHS
  • 1 hr - Week 3: TRIM input (awareness on dealing with trauma and the support services)
  • 1 hr each Week12: PMAS and Blue Light Champion inputs (officer welfare and mental support facilities)
  • 2 days in the workplace on placement to local mental health services (1 day in patient services and 1 day in community based services) 

The following have received training to date: 

All new student officers receive a full days training along with 2 days of attachments – 1 in a MH community team setting and the other on a MH hospital ward

Custody Sgts

Control room supervisors and new control room staff

Firearms Support Unit

Silver cadre officers (senior officers looking at the strategic impact)

Special Constables

There have also been a series of CPD events open to all staff to attend

Local Magistrates

All 24/7 officers and Neighbourhood Team colleagues have received inputs from Street Triage officers regarding the best use this service

Plans are in place to roll out further training to cover all front line staff

Respond training. Numerous police officers have attended this training and it continues to be rolled out across the Northumbria force area. Other police forces have stated that they also intend to make use of this training package most notably the Met in London.

See exert below for further information: 

Respond is a unique multi-agency simulation training package for professionals involved in mental health crisis care. By increasing collaboration and knowledge, it equips staff to respond quickly and appropriately to improve patient experiences. It has been designed by representatives from Northumbria Police, Northumberland Tyne and wear NHS Trust (NTW), North East Ambulance Service, Newcastle Local Authority and Fulfilling lives – an organisation representing Experts by Experience.

This training has brought together these agencies with a shared commitment to improve the system, so that people in mental health crisis get the support they need – whatever the circumstances and whichever service they turn to first. Using an immersive training technique, it offers a safe learning environment to explore problem solving and decision making skills, where mistakes can be made with no long-term consequences. There are no actors used with the various roles being undertaken by those key professionals, and those with lived experience.

Working alongside professionals from other agencies, participants are presented with a series of real-life situations through video and audio feeds, with each taking on the roles of approved mental health professional (AMHP), paramedic, police officer, psychiatric doctor, crisis nurse and, crucially, a person in crisis. Whilst working through the scenario, professionals are asked to keep their background a secret, to assist in the immersion of the role and challenge stigma/misconceptions. The ‘reveal’ of each participants true identity at the end frequently challenges stereotyping with the inclusion of Experts by Experience making this training unique.

Respond-trained professionals take their learning forward with a clear understanding of each other’s roles, so that every agency in the crisis pathway can respond quickly and effectively - without the tensions and time delays that can arise from uncertainty about who should do what. As an example by promoting the feelings and perceptions of the police officers, participants have reported a new understanding and respect for the police.  There have also been occasions whereby staff who have attended Respond have subsequently dealt with an incident which has mirrored that of the training sessions resulting in a positive outcome as each of the professionals understood the role of the police and the potential course of action. Not only does this lead to a reduction in demand but more importantly an increase in the quality of care for the patient.


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