Michael has had an enduring interested in policing, mental health and criminal justice for over twenty years. He has been an operational police officer for over twenty-five years and is experienced in 24/7 emergency response, public order policing and firearms command. He has worked twice as the mental health coordinator for a major UK police service and drove creation of “Place of Safety” facilities which reduce reliance on the use of police custody for those of us detained by the police under mental health law.
As a result of online work on his “MentalHealthCop” blog, he was seconded to the UK College of Policing to coordinate mental health work nationally on behalf of the National Police Chiefs Council and wrote the national strategy and guidance for policing. He has been an expert witness in Coroner’s courts in both the UK and Australia and has presented internationally in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and South Africa. He has been a visiting lecturer on legal and criminal justice topics and at number of UK university courses on forensic mental health and criminology.
For this work he is the recipient of the President’s Medal from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, a digital media award from the UK’s major mental health charity, MIND and was awarded an OBE in Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th Birthday Honours. He has a master’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Cardiff University and will shortly commence further study for a PhD examining social harm and police accountability following mental health related deaths after police contact.