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Chidgey K, Procter N, Baker A, Grech C. Health Soc. Care Community 2019; 27(3): e112-e124.


School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia.


(Copyright © 2019, John Wiley and Sons)






Police are increasingly being called upon to respond to people experiencing suicidal crisis. Such incidents are a challenging aspect of modern policing. This paper reports on an integrative review study that aimed to investigate police responses to individuals displaying suicidal or self-harming behaviours. Six electronic databases were searched for peer-reviewed articles published between 2007 and 2017 relating to police responses to individuals in suicidal crisis. The review identified 12 studies that met the inclusion criteria. A content analysis was conducted to identify and describe the key characteristics emerging from the literature, which identified four themes: "characteristics of individuals"; "the use of violence and weapons"; "contact with police prior to suicide"; and, "police officer training".

FINDINGS from this study indicate that individuals involved in incidents of suicidal and self-harm crisis with police are often male, aged between 35 and 40 years, single and/or having relationship issues, with a history of mental health issues and in recent contact with police prior to the incident of suicidal crisis-either as a victim or a perpetrator. The results highlight that large proportions of individuals in suicidal crisis within a community located incident are likely to present with violent or aggressive behaviour and in many situations are armed with a weapon used to either threaten or injure police and/or bystanders or self-harm. Training and education can have a positive impact from the perspective of police responding to individuals in suicidal crisis. Limitations in the current evidence are identified and implications for future research are outlined.

© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Language: en


police; police-assisted suicide; self-harm; suicidal crisis; suicide; suicide by cop


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