Friday, March 14, 2008

Death of Chief Constable Michael Todd

I am saddened to read of the tragic apparent suicide of Manchester Police's Chief Constable. Reports of his coroner conclude he walked up Snowdon on a very cold day and deliberately let himself freeze to death.

Before this incident I would not have been able to name our Chief Constable - which is a great testament to his work.

The chief constables you can name such as Richard Brunstrom are the ones that are in the press for doing a bad job, or outraging the public. This guy lives on a different planet and has become a one man force against minor speeding offences and has been very outspoken about legalising drugs.

I have unfortunately had to contact the police a few times since moving to Manchester City Centre. On every occasion I have been impressed with their sensitivity and professionalism. Much work has been done by Mr Todd to improve links between the police force and the communities of Greater Manchester.

There are many 'liaison' officers assigned as the face of the police force to meet with the community at a local level and ensure the police are delivering a satisfactory service.

It is for this that I will remember and miss Michael Todd. May his team continue focusing on this aspect of policing in his honour.

I also wish to take this opportunity to say how terrible the mental health services are in Greater Manchester. As I mentioned in my previous post I have needed treatment for depression myself. When I lived with my parents I had treatment from the North Wales Health Authority. They were fantastic. I was offered regular help from senior doctors.

I have tried to access services in Greater Manchester. My GP agreed I was in need of similar help within Manchester and tried to make a referal but I was ignored and left with no help or support at all. Were such services available to people in need, more lives may be saved and deaths due to depression and suicide such as Michael Todd's may be prevented.


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