Both Police Scotland’s and the NHS’ 10-year strategies envisage enhanced partnerships to effectively support vulnerable people and communities. One quarter of people in the UK have mental health problems (McManus et al., 2009), and mental health problems account for 28% of the UK disease burden (Ferrari et al., 2013). Further to this, 28% of detainees in England and Wales were identified as vulnerable, requiring an appropriate adult in police custody; though only 4% received this. Given that the police are the most publicly visible criminal justice agency, with the highest levels of contact with the public, it is clear that their decision making around vulnerability and public health must be as effective as possible. Understanding the decision-making processes when managing risk and vulnerability is therefore imperative. Supporting the development of cross-sector working across public health and Police Scotland is a core mechanism in achieving enhanced partnerships and supporting the management and decisions around vulnerable individuals and mental health. While there has been an evolution in international law enforcement and public health (LEPH) practices, the operational development of such an initiative in Scotland is scant. This project aims to identify and develop a co-constructed planned programme of LEPH research, leading to a systematic review in a priority area. We will bring together interdisciplinary and agency key stakeholders whose remit will be to develop this planned programme of work, capitalising on research opportunities of urgent relevance to frontline services.
• Convene a cross-sector expert advisory group (EAG) in an event specifically intended to identify key research priorities around policing and public health. These identified research areas will then be prioritised by the EAG as areas likely to have greatest impact on service delivery and reorganisation, and by improvements in outcomes for people. Collaborative policing and public health special interest working groups will then be identified with remits to seek subsequent external funding opportunities.
• Conduct a systematic review of the literature, the topic of which will emerge from the EAG identified research priority areas. This is envisaged to broadly be in the area of vulnerability/mental health decision making within the LEPH context.
• Scoping and developing a follow-on Nuffield Foundation grant application.