Featured News



Parliamentary committee on Human rights to scrutinise Policing and Criminal Justice Bill

26 November 2015

JCHR_imageBy Zephaniah Samuels
The Joint Committee on Human Rights has announced plans to scrutinise proposals set out in the Policing and Criminal Justice Bill, which has significant implications for people who use mental health services, and particularly those from the UK's African Caribbean communities, who continue to be subject to disproportionate and often unwanted contact with officers when in need of mental health care, both while in the community and even more disturbingly when detained on locked psychiatric wards.


Mental Health detentions hit all time high amid human rights concerns of its use against Black Britons

24 November 2015

mental_health_butt4By Zephaniah Samuels
New data showing Mental Health Act detentions have shot up by almost 10% in the last 12 months, with people from the UK's African Caribbean communities continuing to be over represented in these figures, even though there aren't high rates of mental illness amongst this group, have raised widespread concerns over the coercive way this power is being used against black Britons.


Boadmoor CE steps down amid a series of controversies

20 November 2015

Indi_-_steve_shrub_quits_amid_controversey1The Chief exec of the UKs largest mental health trust, Steve Shrubb, which includes Broadmoor the country's most high secure psychiatric hospitals where disproportionate numbers of people from the UK's African are detained and subject to some of the harshest treatment, has today retired from his post amid a string of controversies including poor CQC inspections, allegations of bullying and reports of almost £4million overspend.


BMH UK & IPCC host joint community event on police use of force study

12 November 2015

IPCC__BMH__rt_low_res_5-11-15By staff writer
Mental health professionals from the few remaining black led community based services, academics, activists, faith leaders and representatives from mentoring and support groups, as well as black sections of health networks, and Unions were among the delegates at the joint Black Mental Health UK (BMH UK) and Independent Police Complaints commission (IPCC) round table event on the police watchdog yearlong study on the Police use of force and public perceptions.


Study showing ECT causes brain damage confirms fears of community frontline mental heath professionals

05 October 2015

By Ruth Dayspring
black_man_holding_head_mh_picAnalysis of research by reform psychiatrist Dr Peter Breggin confirming that Electroshock(ECT) treatment causes brain damage is of particular importance to people from the UK's African Caribbean communities that come in contact with mental health services, as a group subject to the most coercive treatments like ECT, which professionals from the community say has left many irreparably emotionally and psychologically damaged.


Fall in police custody use for those needing mental health care needs to be matched by drop in police presence on psychiatric wards

25 November 2015

NPCC_logoBy Ruth Dayspring
While data from the National Police Chief Councils (NPCC) shows a welcome fall in the use of police custody for those picked up by officers in need of mental health care, concern still remains at the routine use of police vehicles to transport vulnerable people to hospital, and the more disturbing practice of staff routinely calling officers onto psychiatric wards to restrain and even Taser distressed patients.


Interim chair of independent advisory panel on deaths in custody announced

20 November 2015

Letter_-_new_appointment_Kate_LampardBy Staff writer
In a letter from the Justice Secretary to the Justice Select Committee barrister Kate Lampard has been named as the replacement to Lord Harris of Harringey as the interim chair of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in custody, in a six month post while a permanent chair is identified. As Lord Harris departs other panel members including consultant Forensic Pathologist Richard Shepherd and lawyer Phillip Leach also ended their terms on this committee.


UN report spotlights discrimination in criminal justice system against minorities

12 November 2015

UN_LOGOBy Zephaniah Samuels
With the imprisonment of people from the UK's African Caribbean communities far outnumbering per head of the population the mass incarceration rates of African Americans within the US prison industrial complex, a new United Nations report showing that global minorities continue to face discrimination within the administration of the criminal justice system whether as accused, victims or witnesses, is of particular significance to Britons black communities.


Human rights abuse of Tasering patients locked on mental health wards needs to stop

13 October 2015

officer_taser_beltBy Zephaniah Samuels
The BBC's spotlight on the disproportionate use of Taser against black Britons has highlighted an injustice that urgently needs to be addressed, but the practice that has for far too long remained hidden of the Tasering of patients detained under the Mental Health Act, by police called onto locked wards by staff, raises grave human rights concerns for a group to unable to speak out for fear of the consequences.


NPCC reject Taser only used as last resort when subject doused in petrol, in wake of ignited victim inquest, sparks alarm across the community

02 October 2015

taser_gun2By Zephaniah Samuels
This week's inquest into man doused in petrol who was ignited by a Taser has seen the police watchdog the IPCC call for more guidance on their use. With data showing that people from the UK's African Caribbean communities account for half of those Tasered across the capital, the NPCC's response rejecting that Taser should only be used as a last resort in such circumstances has sparked alarm across the community.


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