24 Hours in Police Custody spotlights the impact of mental health on policing
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24 Hours in Police Custody returns to TV screens on Sunday (3 December) shining a light on the impact of mental health on policing during the feature on a 12-hour standoff with police.
The upcoming episode features two men who threatened their neighbour with a firearm before entering police siege with negotiators, firearm officers, dog handlers and many officers and staff.
In November 2023, Paul Burton and Nathan Turner fired an air weapon at a police vehicle and threw paint over several police and private vehicles from an eighth floor flat in Bury Court, Bedford.
Burton and Turner, who had both been drinking and taking drugs, also confronted a takeaway delivery driver outside their flat and prevented him from leaving for over an hour.
They were both sentenced last month. Burton, 45, of Bury Court, Bedford, pleaded guilty to attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent and two counts of possession of an imitation firearm to cause fear of violence, and was jailed for seven years.
Turner, 37, of Bury Court, Bedford, pleaded guilty to affray and five counts of criminal damage, and he was sentenced to 20 months in prison.
As well as the violent nature of the incident, the episode looks at the impact of mental health on policing.
Bedfordshire Police is currently in the process of working with partners to implement Right Care Right Person (RCRP) in the new year.
The RCRP initiative aims to ensure that vulnerable people will receive the right specialist health support they need and reduce the number of mental health calls that police are first in attendance to. It does not mean the police will stop attending incidents where there is a threat to life. They have a duty to protect communities and will continue to do so.
Detective Superintendent Steve Ashdown, who was the tactical lead for this incident, said: “This episode demonstrates the different units, teams and partners that come together to support these types of incident.
“It also highlights how officers are undoubtedly feeling the impact of dealing with these incidents or are at the receiving end of violence as events unfold and shows an officer who was fired at during the siege. As a force we have introduced a range of measures to support our officers and staff.
“The challenges we face as a police force, when it comes to violent incidents, anti-social behaviour, and ill-mental health are shown in the programme. We work alongside our partners in healthcare to support people in our communities who may be suffering a mental health crisis, such as through our specialist mental health street triage team.
“Support with managing your mental health and wellbeing is always available to people, regardless of who you are and where you come from, so please never be afraid to reach out and seek help.”
Health services in Bedfordshire have also published a series of self-help guides around issues that may affect your mental health. Read these online.
Mental health crisis support for all ages is available 24 hours a day every day across Bedfordshire and Luton by contacting NHS 111 (option 2) or the Samaritans on 116 123 (freephone) or by emailing [email protected].
Samaritans has also published guidance to around how you might help someone you are worried about, which is available to view on their website.
24 Hours in Police Custody is due to air on Channel 4 at 9pm on Sunday (3 December).