Similar to victims, the majority of suspects with a known ethnicity were white (76%) and the proportion of suspects from other ethnicities (24%) also appears to be slightly higher than in previous years and the general population. Working with schools to make young people aware of mental health issues to allow them to look after themselves and others. How our world-leading, cross-industry suicide prevention programme with Samaritans is helping to save lives.

The aim of this study was to evaluate an online training program for police officers and to improve knowledge and self-rated competence in delivering death notifications, in suicide prevention, and in recognizing one’s own stress and suicidality. The e-learning program desired to help police officers better recognize their own stress, offer helpful methods and enhance help-seeking behavior. Furthermore, the program should reduce negative and stigmatizing attitudes about individuals with suicidal ideation and behavior. Along the lines of empirical findings, these three domains represent relevant challenges strongly related to the police profession.

The questionnaire on the usefulness of the training will be evaluated descriptively to examine how the training was finally evaluated. Due to the high amount of missing data at follow-up, these data eco sober house complaints could not be included in the analysis. These results show that gatekeeper training is quite effective for suicide prevention and that this topic should be more relevant in the police profession.

This also makes it essential to improve the conditions and training opportunities within the police force. Although police officers belong to the group of people who frequently come into contact with suicidal behavior, they are not necessarily part of the target group when it comes to gatekeeper training for suicide prevention. In addition, studies show that stigmatization and prejudices regarding suicidal behavior and mental disorders are still widespread in the police profession . There is now a number of programs with training specifically for police officers in the area of suicide prevention that have shown satisfactory results in the effectiveness of such trainings . Those who participated showed a lower stigmatizing attitude toward suicidal behavior, increased knowledge and an increase in self-rated competence in dealing with persons with suicidal ideation.

Metropolitan Police Service

Four cases of encouraging or assisting suicide have been successfully prosecuted. One case of assisted suicide was charged and acquitted after trial in May 2015 and eight cases were referred onwards for prosecution for homicide or other serious crime. From 1 April 2009 up to 31 March 2022, there have been 174 cases referred to the CPS by the police that have been recorded as assisted suicide.

  • In this section you will find information about common practical concerns or challenges faced by people bereaved by suicide.
  • She also cited initiatives like the Welfare Support Program that complement Hear Man Up, Think Man Down by offering services such as a dedicated helpline that struggling officers can be referred to.
  • This often leads to avoidant behavior of the police, which in turn leads to an incorrect delivery of the death notification .
  • There needs to be information available as to if officers were under investigation at the time they took their life.
  • Many reporters try to be empathetic to the needs of the bereaved and can offer opportunities for positive reporting about the person who has died.
  • Since this report was authored, Dr Lis Bates is now Reader in Interpersonal Violence Prevention at the University of Central Lancashire .

Over three quarters of victims with a known ethnicity were white (76%) though, since Covid, the proportion of victims from non-white ethnicities (24%) appears to be slightly, though not significantly, higher than in previous years and in the general population. Police Oracle welcomes readers’ comments but please keep them concise if possible. Personally abusive comments directed at named individuals and posted anonymously are not welcome. The editor reserves the right to block and delete any comments that fall into this category. You can stay up to date on the top news and events near you with our FREE newsletters – enter your email address at the top of the page or go here. If you are needing help or just want to know what is available to you, we have compiled a full list of a number of services here.


The Domestic Homicide Project is one of nine wider workstreams being delivered by the VKPP that contribute to the overall evidence base for vulnerability and violent crime. Many of these projects focus on direct engagement with forces and a range of key partners to gain an understanding of current practice and to explore opportunities for developing knowledge sharing learning and improving outcomes for those who are vulnerable. Demand related to vulnerability has significantly increased in recent years and it represents one of the highest threat, harm and risk areas. In beginning to address this, the National Police Chiefs’ Council established the Vulnerability Knowledge and Practice Programme in 2018 to develop and co-ordinate holistic, evidence-based approaches to improve learning, practice and outcomes. Domestichomicidesremain an ‘entrenched and enduring problem’ despite figures remaining relatively stable during lockdown, a new report commissioned by police has found. Livewell also run Chathealth, a text service used by health visitors and school nurses to support families and young people.

They have been targeted and stoned in the suburbs or accused of violence and racism, all of which generates feelings of frustration, powerlessness, and lack of legitimacy that, for the moment, are not going to disappear. Dr. Perrou writes that in instances where a “connection” between the suicidal subject and the intervening officer is lacking, the subject may see death as his only escape from the agitating voice of the officer. Sadly, the officer, seeing that his efforts to resolve the situation peacefully are not being effective, tries even harder … which only compounds the subject’s eco sober house complaints interest in escape. We would like to thank the Berlin Police and the Swiss Police for supporting us with the recruitment and for inviting us to present our program in their symposium. In addition, we would like to thank Frank-Peter Bitter from the pastoral care of the Berlin Police, who made it possible for us to attend police training sessions. Furthermore, we would like to thank Prof. Dr. Birgitta Sticher for incorporating our program into her lecture and thus assisting us in the recruitment process and Christine Gerlach from the Berlin Police in supporting the project.

For those whose story is told incorrectly or in sensationalised terms, the experience can be very distressing. Interest by the media is often an issue faced by those bereaved by suicide. The press are most likely to report at the time of death, they may also attend and report on the inquest. The Ministry of Justice produce the Guide to coroner services’ and coroner investigations.

How to support someone you’re worried about What to do if you think someone you know isn’t OK. Supporting someone with suicidal thoughts What to do if you think someone is considering taking their own life. It can be hard to know what to say when someone you care for is hurting themselves. Myths about suicide Understanding the facts can help you to help someone struggling to cope. If you’re worried about someone else during the coronavirus pandemic Reaching out to someone can make a big difference if they’re going through a tough time. Little tips for helping someone open up when something’s up You don’t have to be an expert to help someone open up when something’s up.

Samaritans Ireland is a charity registered in the Republic of Ireland and incorporated in the Republic of Ireland as a company limited by guarantee . This act of kindness was greatly appreciated by us both at what is a very difficult time for our family. I would like to personally thank the PFOA for the gifts we received for our daughter.

He pointed to the case of Metropolitan Police officers Deniz Jaffer and Jamie Lewis who were jailed for two years after they photographed the bodies of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry, and shared the images on WhatsApp. The sister added that she could not comprehend why anyone would be so cruel as to mock someone who had died by suicide. The man’s sister told Spotlight the two officers allegedly moved the body around the room in certain poses for pictures and for a video. Ms Anderson said the allegations around the two Police Service of Northern Ireland officers were harrowing. One of the officers has been suspended with full pay while the Police Ombudsman investigates. With an “in the line of duty” designation, a deceased officer can be memorialised on a list of the fallen, lie in state in the Capitol, and bequeath government benefits to his or her family.

This has meant that suicide prevention policies etc have had to be written from scratch. BTP actively engage with numerous national and regional forums to share information, experiences and thinking to inform the introduction of new and improved services, pathways and initiatives to reduce the risk of suicide. Among the other failures, the Police Ombudsman found that police did not explore the concerns brought to them by a serving police officer. They did not conduct any inquiries following the discovery of blood on Trevor’s sweatshirt nor examine the discrepancies in the wording and phrasing of the apparent suicide note. The general population as measured by Census 2011 and the 10-year domestic homicides average.

police suicides

This behaviour has very significant adverse effects on the quality of life of its victims, but is also an indicator of risk of serious physical harm. Further, the role of police officers as gatekeepers in suicide prevention is essential and often underestimated. A competent appearance and knowledge of suicidality can promote adequate interaction with those affected. By informing on suicidality, it can be recognized and assessed more effectively, facilitating identifying risk persons.

A young policeman made what Barbara thought was an ill-judged remark about her son (Matt)’s…

The police may be the first to inform the next of kin that the death has happened. They also have a responsibility to investigate the circumstances of the death and report to the coroner or procurator fiscal. For the family, this can feel like an additional burden at a time of pain and confusion, however most officers try to handle these situations and inquiries with appropriate sensitivity and with an awareness to the needs of the bereaved. This questionnaire assesses the actual knowledge of the participants based on the training content. The questionnaire consists of 24 items, of which 20 questions have a multiple-choice answer format (“Which group is considered a high-risk group for suicides?”) and four items have an open answer format “Name three risk factors for suicide.”). The higher the total score, the higher the knowledge of the respective person.

However, the report also highlights that emerging from lockdown may have some benefits and could help reduce the risk of homicide and suicide in some cases by re-establishing support networks and making cases more visible. Taken together, this means that over half of suspects (58%) were previously known to police as a suspect for some form of offending. This does suggest that potential domestic homicide suspects are more ‘visible’ to police than previous studies have shown. She also cited initiatives like the Welfare Support Program that complement Hear Man Up, Think Man Down by offering services such as a dedicated helpline that struggling officers can be referred to.

Differences in numbers of deaths may merely reflect the underlying population structure as opposed to differences in risk. We joined the service to protect people and this must include our own staff. Despite our differing roles in policing, we are all leaders and have a responsibility to look out for the welfare of colleagues and remember that if we are suffering ourselves there is help available.

How to support someone you’re worried about

Future studies could address this problem by offering an incentive for completing the follow-up questionnaire. Additional further study information and the importance of the data at the beginning of the program would be useful to improve the overall response rate. The Project adopted a wide definition of domestic homicides including murder from a partner, family member or co-habitee, child deaths in a domestic setting, and unexplained deaths or suspected victim suicides with a known history of domestic abuse. These latter two categories are not homicides, but were included in the project definition to capture as wide a range of deaths following domestic abuse as possible. However, multi-agency partnership working remains crucial to identifying risk and preventing domestic homicides and suicides and this is highlighted in the report. In 57% of all cases, either the victim or suspect, or both, were previously known to another agency other than police.

  • For the family, this can feel like an additional burden at a time of pain and confusion, however most officers try to handle these situations and inquiries with appropriate sensitivity and with an awareness to the needs of the bereaved.
  • “Police continued to show an investigative bias and adhere to the suicide theory, despite the fact that the two main people promoting it, Howell and Buchanan, had lied to them,” said the Police Ombudsman.
  • The value of these preparatory indicators is that they can allow you to monitor the subject’s state of mind and his immediate level of willingness to take the situation to a violent end.
  • The Project also found 38 suspected victim suicides with a known history of domestic abuse, although this figure couldn’t be compared with previous years as this was the first time that the data had been captured in this way.
  • I had a phone call saying would I go and collect my late husband’s effects and I made the appointment and got to the local police station and as I opened the door there was a very young constable standing with his back to the door obviously talking to somebody behind the desk.

The campaign aims to amplify the charity’s mission to humanise and normalise mental health, remove stigma attached to it and signpost people to help, highlighting the support options available to vulnerable people before they reach crisis point. “Our suicide prevention approach recognises the vital role these preventative activities play in helping to reduce escalation into mental health crisis, whilst acknowledging there is more to do. We recognise, however, that there is more to do, and this commitment is a vitally important and encouraging development. The Officer and Staff Safety Review proposal to improve the way data is recorded on police officer and staff death, serious injury, and suicide has been agreed and will be progressed.

Assisted Suicide

By providing services like occupational health provision, along with additional training and health checks, we have become better equipped to support the wellbeing of our officers and staff. Our work has already made a difference and more police officers and staff feel ok to say they’re not ok. Conflicting opinions on why suicides have increased have produced disparate means of addressing the problem.