The Suicide Act 1961 decriminalised the act of suicide in England and Wales.
There is an image going around social media that purports to be of a letter, on police headed notepaper, written by a Police Liaison Case Manager, that appears to say that suicidal behaviour could be an offence and threatens legal action.
It appears there have been incidents of "loitering on bridges or rail platforms", and these have resulted in calls to the emergency services. It states that the subject could be held criminally liable for wasting police time or causing a public nuisance if others call emergency services in response to such behaviour.
Is this an accurate description of the law?
Transcript of image:
BRITISH TRANSPORT POLICE METROPOLITAN POLICE
However, we also would like to point out to you that your incidents of apparent suicidal behaviour may cause alarm or distress to members of the public and staff members who witness them or who intervene on your behalf. As well as supporting you, we also have a duty to protect others who may be affected by your actions. Incidents on the railway can also impact others by causing disruption and delays to services.
The 999 system is for emergencies only, and should only be used if urgent attendance of Emergency Services is required —for instance, if someone is seriously ill or injured, or if a crime is in progress. There are limited emerciency resources available, and misuse of the 999 system may mean that someone who requires genuine emergency help may not receive it in time. Particular where an ambulance is called unnecessarily this could result in another persons death.
You have been with [name redacted] during several of these incidents, and we note that she has also made a number of 999 calls for incidents apparently concerning you.
Causing or allowing someone to call 999 your behalf when it is not an emergency as above, or behaving in a manner that causes someone else to be concerned for you — for instance by loitering on bridges or rail platforms - is also unacceptable and will be looked at the same way as if you had made the call yourself.
We do understand that you require support, and are keen that you continue to access to your mental health services for your well-being. However, we believe that you are using emergency services inappropriately in many cases and ask you to consider the effect and consequences for others by your actions.
If you commit any offences, such as trespassing or obstructing the railway, wasting police time or causing a public nuisance, this may now lead to legal action being taken against you. If you have any queries regarding this letter or would like any further assistance with support services, please contact any rnember of your care team or your GP.
Police Liaison Case Manager
Barnet, Enfield and Haringey NHS MH Trust