Public health as crime prevention

Public healthThere are many personal behaviours that stem from health conditions, and to which a response based in the public health system is more effective and efficient. Examples include many mental health conditions and alcohol and other drug dependence. Police, as first responders, are very often called upon to deal with these behaviours – estimates worldwide are that up to 40% of police time and resources are expended on dealing with issues that have an underlying mental health and/or alcohol and other drug cause. Providing responsive public health systems,  and building effective partnerships between police and health agencies, both decreases police workload and expenditure and achieves a better health and public safety outcome. However, much remains to be studied in this area.