Temporal Patterns of Mental Health Act Calls to the Police [2018]

Recent research has shown that crime-related police calls for service account for 20–30% of police call-related activity. In this article, we analyse temporal patterns of calls for police service relating to mental health. Approximately, 22,000 mental health-related calls are analysed. Seasonal, monthly, and daily patterns are analysed using ANOVA and negative binomial regression. Mental health-related calls for police service have a distinct temporal pattern for the days of the week and, to a lesser extent, at different times of the year. These calls for police service are elevated during fall/winter months and during the week. Our analyses show that police resourcing based only on criminal activity is limited for at least this one form of police calls for service. This may have implications for police resourcing and scheduling, particularly in the context of the day of the week and when special mental health teams are needed.

Adam D Vaughan, Ashley N Hewitt, Tarah Hodgkinson, Martin A Andresen, Simon Verdun-Jones
Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, Volume 13, Issue 2, June 2019