To have some sympathy for Nicola Edgington?

(163 Posts)
lougle Mon 04-Mar-13 22:25:51

Report from BBC

This woman had killed before. She knew she was a danger to the public. She dialled 999 four times to tell them that she needed sectioning to prevent a killing.

I know she did what she did. I can't imagine what her victims' families are going through.

I do feel some sympathy for her though. She tried to get herself out of circulation.

AmberLeaf Tue 05-Mar-13 00:20:18

Wouldn't someone who has killed during psychosis previously be a priority though? or taken more seriously [as in her threats, not how the police would respond]

squeakytoy Tue 05-Mar-13 00:20:19

I sympathise Vicar and Plom, and I understand that there is only so much you can do, and that is must be frustrating. What I cant understand though is that surely someone who has killed before should be a priority and the police should be able to have her detained against her will if she has made such a threat to kill again.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 05-Mar-13 00:21:32

but police cannot section someone! thats down to the psyche on call!

in my experience they never admit anyone - no word of a lie - everyone i have gone in with has been "assessed" and released.

they can be barking fucking mad. sorry to be blunt - but its true. i took a woman who thought she was Eve....as in adam and eve.
guess what happened to her then?
go on....guess.
guess what i got called to the next day....and she was at home. could not detain her then. no power under 136 to detain if not in a public place.

FreudiansSlipper Tue 05-Mar-13 00:22:00

it is very hard to get someone sectioned the have to really be a risk to harming themselves and/or others

The issue is lack of funds, the police being given work that trained mental health professionals should dealing with so these people get the help they need not just taken off the streets for a few hours

Maryz Tue 05-Mar-13 00:22:42

That's scary when you put it like that Plom and Vicar.

I had to call the police one night when ds was in the middle of a psychotic phase - he was waving knives around and threatening to kill himself and us. Their answer was that until he actually hurt someone there was nothing they could do.

Another night they kept him in a cell all night for similar reasons and he nearly killed himself by hitting his head off the door sad.

Treatment for mh issues should start a hell of a lot earlier than the stage at which police intervention and sectioning is needed. The trouble is, it tends to get ignored when it is controlled (to save the Health Service money) and only dealt with when it is too late.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 05-Mar-13 00:22:52

no amber

you cannot violate someones human rights just because they have committed crime in the past.

can you imagine the headlines then?!

police cannot win.

Maryz Tue 05-Mar-13 00:23:51

Oh, and there was no hope of getting him sectioned either time as apparently it's impossible to get two doctors at night here and they need two doctors to section [baffled]

AmberLeaf Tue 05-Mar-13 00:29:06

Im not saying human rights should be violated because of her past crime, but her threats could have been taken more seriously had they been aware of her past?

squeakytoy Tue 05-Mar-13 00:29:38

"you cannot violate someones human rights just because they have committed crime in the past"

but that is ridiculous when the person is threatening to do it again (and clearly a very real threat if they have previous for it), the general public seem to have no human rights to be safer on the street.. sad

I cant see how the headlines would be in this type of example, because if that person has made the threats, then surely holding them would be the best course of action, it isnt as if they were just being hauled in off the streets because they looked as if they might be a danger, this woman was a danger and should have been taken more seriously immediately..

I am not blaming the authorities, specifically the people who were involved as it is clear the law ties their hands. The law needs to be reassessed due to the fact that it seems many people are released far too early into the community when it is clear that they are still very unwell.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 05-Mar-13 00:29:57

this just makes me laugh. blame the very people who probably tried to get her treated, who took her to hospital in the first place.

WTF does anyone think police could have done differently? no custody sgt will take a mentally ill person - they tell you to take them to hospital.
you do that
they walk out or they get released after hours of you standing about trying to make small talk, withholding the need to pee and forgoing your meal. a psyche will come in. asses them. release them.

you bash your head against the imaginary wall and count down for the next call which you know is coming...

this is the reality that no one sees, or hears. they just see the end result when it all goes tits up and the blame game starts.

AmberLeaf Tue 05-Mar-13 00:32:22

I appreciate all of that Vicar, I can imagine how incredibly frustrating that must be.

Do you think then that in this case nothing could have been done differently?

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 05-Mar-13 00:34:34

squeaky seriously - we get threats made all the time. One bloke who threatened to stab me initially ended up hugging me and calling me 'baby'....called ambulance. called crisis team.

guess what happened....

do we just arrest everyone who says "im gonna fucking kill you....."?
who says "im gonna fucking stab someone"....
because that would be most people we deal with then. seriously. we do not deal with "most people" - we deal with the same people over and over and over and i would say 90% of them have mental health issues that never ever get treated despite all our efforts.

squeakytoy Tue 05-Mar-13 00:39:37

The one point I am trying to say is, she wasnt just threatening, she had a previous conviction for killing someone. Surely that would put her into a different category from the usual threats made by people who have never actually carried their threats out??

squeakytoy Tue 05-Mar-13 00:40:40

And honestly, I am not having a go at you personally. As I have said, I really do sympathise that your hands are tied, your resources are over stretched, and you are simply doing what you are legally required to do.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 05-Mar-13 00:42:36

This stands out to me in that news report

She was taken to two different hospitals, although she was able to walk out

why is it that police always get blamed! what do they think we could have done in this case??

it matters not that she had committed crime before - she would still have been allowed to walk out of hospital unless the security stopped her or the psyche assessed her and sectioned her.

you cannot detain anyone for past crimes. you have to deal with what you see at that time - at that time officers clearly felt she was ill and needed treatment so they took her to hospital.

we are not obliged to sit with patients who are committed to the care of the NHS - but we do anyway. more often than not we are there for hours and hours and hours.

there is an agenda here.

shame the police ballot for industrial action didnt go through. decimate the police service, cut pay, cut numbers, stretch people to breaking point and then wonder why it goes tits up? really.

im looking and actively applying for other jobs. jobs in admin, jobs in offices, jobs that wont kill me - nothing is worth the dangers we face daily and the shit we put up with.
anyone in the police for the right reasons will be following suite i reckon. i have never seen a more dejected and pissed off bunch of people in my life - and your lives are in our hands! its a joke.

squeakytoy Tue 05-Mar-13 00:46:11

To be fair, this is in all the reports:

‘While our investigation found that no police officers or staff breached the code of conduct, it is of great concern that no Police National Computer check was carried out which would have immediately alerted them to Edgington’s violent history.’

If that had happened, would the police then have had the power to detain her?

AmberLeaf Tue 05-Mar-13 00:51:50

It said they missed an opportunity to have her sectioned.

The two officers attempted to leave Edgington in the care of the hospital staff but she followed them outside and had to be escorted back inside

At this point, the pair missed an opportunity to have her sectioned under the mental health act, the watchdog said

How realistic an opportunity that was I don't know.

If they had tried, would it have happened?

Plomino Tue 05-Mar-13 00:52:35

The trouble here ,is that everyone blames the officers ( yet again) but in reality the root cause of the problem is cold hard cash . There's not enough money for beds , and every bed will have a queue of people waiting for it . Clinical staff as in every dept of the NHS are under huge amounts of pressure to get patients discharged as quickly as possible , to get the next patient in . So they try treating the mentally ill as outpatients, in hostels ( we have 3 on our borough run by charities ) , with visits from CPNs and daily medication . Which is fine , but then once it kicks in , and people feel better, they stop taking it . And then , when the patient has an episode , and starts throwing their furniture out of the window at 3am , police get called . But they're in their own home , which means you can't use section 136 because it only applies in a public place . So it comes down to our powers of persuasion , getting them to go in voluntarily . And then , once there , a hospital counts as a place of safety under the MHA , so sectioning her under 136 doesn't work there either. So then police have no powers at that point to stop her leaving . Only if she physically leaves , and AT THAT point the officer fears she is going to cause harm to herself or others , can section 136 be applied . Not to stop her when she appears calm and says she's going out for a cigarette and then doesn't come back . It's a difficult judgement call to make , and one that is easy to criticise in hindsight .

We hear the same threats made to us every day . By the mentally ill , by those who are not mentally ill . Over and over and over . I'm not defending it in any way, but it's easy to see how this happened .

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 05-Mar-13 00:53:30

i dont believe so squeaky - you have to be so bloody careful with regard to violating someones human rights - intel can inform the situation but you still cannot detain someone on past history.

i dont believe that anything would have been done differently in all honesty.

how many times has this happened now? care in the bloody community does not work.

but we just turf people back out there and forget about them until the shit hits the fan and then what?
oh yes. blame the police.

as i type this i am agitated, pissed off and sick to death of this bloody shitty job. the dream career. what a bloody joke and a crushing crushing disappointment it all is to find out what the reality is. 7 series of tests, maths, english, role plays. verbal reasoning tests and fitness tests....if only i had known.

while ive been off sick i have been working for nothing at a riding school. i would rather do that any day of the week than go back to work. im feverishly looking for anything locally that will allow me to tell the job to stuff it.

and this just highlights exactly why.

squeakytoy Tue 05-Mar-13 00:54:42

I havent blamed the officers, and nor has anyone else on the thread as far as I can see. Everyone is blaming the law though. Officers dont make those laws and we all appreciate that too.

And you may all hear these threats daily, but surely not by someone who has already murdered another person!

squeakytoy Tue 05-Mar-13 00:58:28

"how many times has this happened now? care in the bloody community does not work"

I completely agree. I live in an area which until recent times had 7 mental institutes. It now has one and that is facing closure.

The residents did not just disappear, many were left to fend for themselves as they were released.

Plomino Tue 05-Mar-13 00:59:09

I'm not allowed to discuss PNC , but on its own , no it wouldn't have made much difference . And no , it wouldn't have conferred any additional power to detain.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 05-Mar-13 01:00:54

im not saying anyone specifically is blaming officers - but clearly from that news report the implication is that officers were to blame.

and truthfully squaky murderers are not a breed apart - they are out there among you all - you would never know. Threats are just that - when you deal with threats to kill day in day out it starts to carry less significance, no matter who says it.

murders happen daily. you might not read about them in the headlines - but they happen more often than anyone realises.

im going to bow out of this now as i can literally feel my blood pressure rising.....its 1am. im seeing gp in the morning. This for me is a timely reminder of why im not at work and feverishly scanning my email daily for the hint of an interview for anything else.
policing - its not for me. i care far too much and i take it far too personally.

Plomino Tue 05-Mar-13 01:06:47

Squeaky , we talk to murderers every day . The ones in bail hostels, the ones living among the community that are under hospital orders , the ones that escape from so called secure units , the ones that have 'done their time' . There are so so many more out there than people know. I'm not trying to frighten anyone , but there are plenty of people amongst the community who have killed , and yet have been released .

It's not right , but there it is .

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 05-Mar-13 01:10:53

good night plom

<weary wave>

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now