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Prosecution of physical assaults by psychiatric in-patients in Northern Ireland

  • Ciara Young (a1), John Brady (a2), Nauman Iqbal (a3) and Fred Browne (a4)
Abstract
Aims and Method

Assaults in healthcare settings have resulted in a range of national strategies aimed at reducing the incidence of violence. This study aimed to quantify the use of prosecution of assailants as a response, and to examine what other responses were used. the responses to violent incidents in three Northern Ireland psychiatric in-patient units in the year 2003 were ascertained retrospectively.

Results

Of 245 incidents meeting the legal definition of assault, police were contacted in 10, and 1 resulted in a prosecution. Seven in-patients accounted for 30.4% of assaults. of the assaults, 46.5% were dealt with by staff using de-escalation alone.

Clinical Implications

These results demonstrate the infrequent reporting of such assaults to the police. A more structured approach should be taken to this important decision. Factors relating to the prosecution of assaults in psychiatric in-patient units are discussed.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Prosecution of physical assaults by psychiatric in-patients in Northern Ireland

  • Ciara Young (a1), John Brady (a2), Nauman Iqbal (a3) and Fred Browne (a4)
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