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Mental Health Social Stigma: Disability Hate Crime in Caldicot

Wez G, Leanne Thomas (lee Lines) middle and her friend.

Wez G, (Lee Lines (Leanne Thomas (centre) I was first locked inside St Cadoc’s Hospital under Section of the Mental Health Act on 2nd April 1997. As horrific as experiences inside a mental hospital can be, once you are released back into the community things can be equally horrific if not more so. In the 22 years of non-consensual Mental Health treatment I have received for a misdiagnosed condition, I have never once disrupted or hurt any individual or group either in the community or inside the hospitals. I have a zero criminal record that I am very proud of. I can remember after a couple of months in hospital in 1997, finally getting out, and making a mad dash for the local pub. Before I went into hospital as a successful DJ and party promoter I had a very good standing in the community and a lot of respect. I loved my hometown of Caldicot with all my heart. As I walked into the Haywain for a much-needed pint, the place went silent. Everyone was just staring at me. You could hear a pin drop. Everyone, even those closest to you and even those who have always tried to treat me the same as they always have before and after 02.04.97, do treat you differently. I’ve learnt to deal with it in my own way over the years. The public perception of mental illness is really bizarre. I blame tabloids covering horror stories of schizophrenic knife attacks or banging on about famous Broadmoor prisoners such as the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe. The facts are that a diagnosed schizophrenic is less likely to commit a violent crime than a member of the general public and they are more likely to be the victim of crime. Social stigma is a weird thing. As the years have progressed and the popularity of mental health has entered the mainstream, people are, in general, more accepting and less judgemental. However, you find it really strange talking to people. They sort of gaze at you, look through you and you can see their minds wandering off as you talk. They believe that anything that is emitted from your mouth is lunacy and insanity. You can’t strike up a sensible conversation with somebody who is doing this. They might interrupt and say the common phrase, ‘Oh, and how are you in yourself?’ I love that question…

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Police Brutality and Mental Health – PART 3

I’ve written two articles already on policing and mental health. The impact of this particular episode still hasn’t quite sunk in. Bang out of order is obviously one of my judgements. Equally, writing this blog, just knowing firsthand exactly what the British police are capable of, means that my life is in potential danger as something equally as bad or worse could quite easily happen at any time. I was just reading a fellow DJ’s Facebook about returning home to a key UK airport to see heavily armed police officers ‘greeting’ people as they got off the plane. OK. We may be on whatever alert, but I do passionately disagree with the arming of the police. Unless laws are passed for the general public to have the right to bear arms, it is unfair to arm a civilian force. Army and other military services, by all means, weapons are a necessity. But not the police. They do not have responsible enough a mentality to be given the easy power over life and death that a trigger brings. I speak from experience. If you actually ever look at the mental health act, when you are admitted to a hospital or sectioned, you are supposed to go through a process of assessment. There are balances and checks in place. I do believe that the process is unfair as it stands. However, over the years the mental health system has been opening up to allow the police more and more involvement and they more or less have a free reign today. The ‘Place Of Safety’ in the legislation allows them to use their premises as mental hospital holding cells. As soon as I heard of the police being armed with tasers I was against the idea. I don’t believe that any form of weapon can be safely deemed as providing non-lethal force, in particular a ballistic weapon. it is no surprise to me that there are so many deaths caused by tasers. I was spending the evening in my home studio, making music. I use Ableton and have various MIDI instruments that plug into it. I was having a quiet jam on my keyboard and laying down the foundations of a new tune. It’s quite a creative process, making music and is very tranquil and relaxing as a producer, although repetitively listening to the same beat patterns as you build up a track…

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Police Brutality and Mental Health – PART 1

newport central police station

I have no criminal record. But, I have been in the mental health system of the UK since 1997 – 18 years to date. Unfortunately the name ‘health’ in ‘mental health’ is a misnomer. The mental health system is nothing but a secret prison system where people can be easily silenced and removed from society without appropriate balances and checks such as those that exist in the criminal justice system. The police have a very active role in mental health and very often the first people you see when you are sectioned under the mental health act are the police. They do not have to place you under arrest verbally. If you are diagnosed or under suspicion of having a mental health condition you can just be attacked by them, handcuffed and dragged off in the back of a van to either a police station – deemed as a ‘place of safety’ under the mental health act, or directly to a mental hospital, usually in the custody of police, direct to a secure mental hospital locked ward. There is an illusion in the public that you have to be seen by a judge or get legal assistance but the reality is that once TAKEN you usually have to wait 5 months in custody before going before a court of law. Those five months of non-consensual treatment and torture with no freedom at all are obviously hell. Over the years the police have become more and more involved in my mental health treatment. I want to use End Of Terror to publicly address some of the worst brutality I have experienced from them. I feel I have a duty to the public to warn them as the police are very dangerous and can cause members of the public serious harm. They have been stepping up their militarisation here in the UK for a number of years now and I believe them to be a hardened criminal incorporation who believe they are exempt from the law. In this post I will illustrate one example of brutality where I have photographic evidence. I have presented this case to the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) on a number of occasions. This body, however, is a sham and is not fit for purpose. The police escape punishment and never learn from their crimes. The above scar comes from a stay in Newport Central Custody Suite…

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