Diabetes - An Arresting Matter

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The new Australian website http://www.OfficialDiabetesBlog.com has uncovered reports of disturbing incidents where people suffering from diabetic hypoglycaemic episodes are mistakenly being arrested by police for being drunk. In one such case, the protestations of the sufferer were ignored by the arresting officers, despite the presence of a diabetic keychain, until the sufferer slipped into unconsciousness and the paramedics were called. Allegations of assault have been levelled at police by diabetics who have been arrested for erratic behaviour, (a symptom of their condition), despite insisting their innocence to public intoxication.

The new Australian website http://www.OfficialDiabetesBlog.com has uncovered reports of disturbing incidents where people suffering from diabetic hypoglycaemic episodes are mistakenly being arrested by police for being drunk.

In one such case, the protestations of the sufferer were ignored by the arresting officers, despite the presence of a diabetic keychain, until the sufferer slipped into unconsciousness and the paramedics were called.

Allegations of assault have been levelled at police by diabetics who have been arrested for erratic behaviour, (a symptom of their condition), despite insisting their innocence to public intoxication.

“It seems that a lack of training and awareness amongst police is leading to innocent people being inappropriately caught up in the criminal justice system,” says Stephanie Jakobi of The Better Information Network™.

It is widely known amongst diabetics that hypoglycaemia and drunken behaviour can easily be confused with each other. The prevalence of severe mood swings amongst new diabetes sufferers is also a condition that many families have to deal with on a daily basis.

While nursing staff who assess the health of people within the hours of arrest may be present at larger custody centres in capital cities, such staffing is rare at regional or suburban watch houses.

This places the onus on police officers, many of whom only have basic first aid training, to assess the behaviour and the health symptoms of the sufferer. For a busy police station, this extra level of awareness and testing may not be possible at the time, or at all.

This opens the door to potentially life-threatening situations, as a person may slip further into diabetic distress if their condition is not monitored correctly or if they do not receive their necessary insulin treatments.

Similar instances of false arrest for intoxication have occurred with people suffering from brain injuries or psychiatric conditions. This has also, on occasion, led to tragic results for the police and the arrested person.

According to the Victorian Police Media Unit, part of the general first aid training for police officers includes information about diabetes. However, recognition of possible erratic behaviour of diabetics does not make it into the operational training for new recruits.

The Better Information Network™ is committed to providing the most up-to-date information about diabetes to the general public, sourced from industry professionals and the diabetic community.

http://www.OfficialDiabetesBlog.com is harnessing the personal experiences of sufferers of the condition that currently affects over 1 million Australians, and over 160 million people worldwide.

The Better Information Network™ and http://www.OfficialDiabetesBlog.com realise that it is through awareness, communication and contemporary research that the medical and social aspects of diabetes can be addressed to the benefit of all stakeholders.

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