Year: 2023 Source: Psychiatry, Psychology and Law. (2023). 0(0), 1–16. SIEC No: 20231912

Police negotiators provide leadership and expertise in the de-escalation and resolution of critical incidents, including responding to individuals exhibiting suicidal behaviour. This study describes the frequency and characteristics of suicide-related negotiation incidents in Queensland, Australia as classified in the Queensland Police Service Negotiator Deployment Database, between 2012 and 2014. Incidents were analysed to understand the individuals involved and precipitating factors including mental health problems and intoxication with alcohol or drugs. Police negotiators were deployed to 156 suicide intervention incidents over a 3-year period, half of which occurred at a residence. The cohort had a median age of 32 years and were predominantly male (82%). Four out of five individuals appeared to have a mental health problem, and at least half were intoxicated due to drugs or alcohol. Findings highlight the importance of strong linkages between police, health and social services and the need for innovative and comprehensive, cross-agency programmes.