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  • Writer's pictureHannah Larkin

The Good Coppers

Sometimes when I get really distressed or emotionally unstable I have incidents in which the police have to be called out. Over the last year+ I have around 60, maybe more, police officers. I do have a few favourites (shout out to PC S D and PC J M-F) but all in all, nearly every single one of them has treated me with a level of respect and genuine care on a far higher average than mental health trained staff I have met in hospital. Of course there’s been an odd few that have really pushed my buttons but that’s given in any profession.

On Monday I had quite a serious incident which meant a lot of officers had to be involved, most of which I never will get to thank other than through some cake. But I truly am grateful for them all, both recently and in the past. I don’t know if i would be alive if it weren’t for them or at least not in the place. I I spoke to a PC about the fact they have no mental health training yet have to use their judgment of one’s mental capacity and if they are unwell (as they have mental health sectioning powers they can use on the public) daily. Yet despite this they still manage to treat those in crisis with dignity, time and respect. I’ve had officers sit and just talk about random shit with me for over an hour, some have deescalated me from harming myself/things/others, put multiple referrals in to get me more help and really push hard for it (taking it to a panel etc), check in on me as they were driving past, answer texts when I was near crisis, put up with my stubbornness and made me laugh. None of this is really the kind of work that you would expect of a police officer, especially in the busy area I live!

The police do get a bad rep, and I can understand why, at times anyway. And I probably need to educate myself more about some of the core issues that we face with the whole system. However, I find it really hard to hear people say ‘ACAB’ or ‘pigs’ or ‘abolish the police’ when they have done so much for me. I’m also aware of my privileged as a cis white female and how this may effect my experience with the police. But overall, I do think the police deserve more credit than they get, even if just as individual officers rather than organization.

I personally am very very grateful for Thames Valley Police, and all that they have done and probably will continue to do for me and my family. With no mental health training whatsoever, they have signal handedly done more for me and my family than any other government funded service

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