Violent Crime Targeted By Mental Health Team

Mental health patients are to attend special sessions aimed at preventing them from committing crimes. Around 500 violent crimes are carried out by people with mental health problems in Lincolnshire each year.

Specialists in the new Community Forensic Service will use medicine, psychological therapies and occupational therapy to help people with such problems understand why they are more likely to commit crime and how to avoid doing it. An estimated one in 20 violent crimes are committed by people with mental health problems.

Mentally ill Matthew Steel, of Scorer Street, Lincoln, was living on his own in the community before stabbing to death 35-year-old Phillip Beardmore at his home in Walnut Place, Lincoln. There was increasing alarm about his previous behaviour, according to the report – published in 2003.

Despite being diagnosed as having a dangerous personality disorder, health experts and social workers could not legally detain him because he had not been officially classified as mentally ill. Steel is now serving a life sentence after his conviction on December 22, 2000, at Lincoln Crown Court.

The new team, set up by the Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Trust will work alongside Community Mental Health Teams, Prison In-Reach, Psychological Therapy Services, Social Services, Substance Misuse Services and the Probation Service. The team members will also liaise closely with the courts and the police.